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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Pro Vercelli: 14 Goals in Two Acts

Reset: Spring collapses into summer, and we’re hanging on in Serie A, three points behind Inter and even with Milan but with two games in hand over both. We’ve just played our Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona, a tie in which fully seven players—three on their team, four on ours—once played for the other team. As you’d expect, it was a completely placid and sportsmanlike encounter.

Song clip: Acoustic Ladyland, “Sport Mode”

Watch Pro Vercelli take on Barcelona

Up next: Milan, in a repeat of our grueling Champions League semi from 2020. In the league, we lost to Milan in mid-March (not an omen), but then followed that up with sizable wins over Torino and Napoli, but then followed those up with a ridiculous 0-3 loss to Siena and a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Roma (possibly an omen). Because football loves heart attacks, the 1910 Derby is sandwiched between our two Champions League fixtures against Milan, so our season may well be settled by a two-week stretch during which we only play teams from that one city and I grow ever closer to burning La Scala to the ground. I don’t mean that, of course. It’s just a tense hour at the Naming Rights. Trenches are being dug. Wish us victory.

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Pro Vercelli: 14 Goals in Two Acts

by Brian Phillips · September 17, 2009

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