The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Control Is Romantic

Maxi Rodríguez’s goal for Atlético Madrid against Liverpool yesterday looks even better in replays than it did at the time. You’ll notice the nimble control from Antonio López and Rodríguez’s sensational first touch. But John Heitinga’s long pass to López is the key to the goal: he puts the ball directly on the end of López’s run from about 70 yards away, giving López just enough time to find the gap in the defense before crossing the ball to Rodríguez. It’s a goal with virtually no margin for error, and all three Atlético players follow their roles to perfection.

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Control Is Romantic

by Brian Phillips · November 5, 2008

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