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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Chelsea. Liverpool. Halftime. Words.

It’s only halftime, but I want to get down a few thoughts about the game.

First, while I realize that the actual playing of entertaining matches can only do so much to counteract the widespread belief that this is a boring tie, we are in fact now on the fourth consecutive fairly thrilling Champions League game between these two clubs. There’s a reason I get excited about the matchup every year.

Second, Aurélio’s goal: As I was watching the ball scud toward the part of the goal toward which Petr Čech was unaccountably not moving, I thought to myself, “I bet I have time to take a cab to the airport, buy a ticket to London, catch the tube to Stamford Bridge, and stop that ball myself before it crosses the line.” In Čech’s defense, however, it actually went in sometime during the second in-flight movie.

Third, Xabi Alsono: If you were to hear the words, “Ladies and gentleman, the pilot has had a heart attack,” is there any other Premier League footballer you would rather have on the plane? The man is just calm-seeming. It would be eerie, maybe, if it weren’t already taking steps to reassure you about its own eerieness.

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Chelsea. Liverpool. Halftime. Words.

by Brian Phillips · April 14, 2009

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