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.
I’d love to look knowing and say that the Villareal-Panathinaikos matchup is more interesting than it appears, but my first reaction is that these matches are appealing more or less in ascending order of obviousness. My longed-for “virus derby” between Manchester United and Real Madrid didn’t materialize, but Madrid-Liverpool is almost as good, and it will be fun to watch Mourinho take on Alex Ferguson again. (Obviousness, but then I warned you.) Chelsea-Juventus has some overtones, since you could argue that Juventus is the club Abramovich is slowly transforming Chelsea into. Plus there’s the whole Ranieri-back-to-the-Bridge story: obviousness!
I was secretly sort of hoping that Chelsea would draw Roma and go through on a last-second own-goal from Riise. But you know. It’s never too late.
Read More: Champions League
by Brian Phillips · December 19, 2008