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On a raw, windy night earlier this week, I went to watch Liverpool play its twenty-seventh match of the English Premier League season. The team had won twenty-five of its games and tied the other, against Manchester United, its traditional rival, which currently sits in fifth place in the league, an astonishing thirty-eight points behind Liverpool, the runaway leaders. Since August, Liverpool has not so much cruised through England’s most important and gruelling soccer competition as questioned its logic as a contest. The E.P.L. imagines itself as a hurly-burly, blood-and-thunder affair, in which less skilful teams can always find a way to topple the grandest opponents. And, in fairness... Full story

27 February