Uefa scraps away goals rule

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June 25, 2021
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    Porto players celebrating after beating JuventusPorto beat Juventus on away goals in the 2020-21 Champions League

    The away goals rule in European club football is to be abolished from the start of next season, governing body Uefa has confirmed.

    The rule, used since 1965, decided drawn two-legged games by favouring the team that scored the most away goals.

    All ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg will instead go to extra time and potentially penalties.

    "It is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight," said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.

    Uefa's club competitions committee made the proposal in May and it has now been approved by the body's executive committee.

    It means games in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women's Champions League will no longer use the rule.

    Uefa says there is now a smaller gap between the number of home and away wins as well as home and away goals scored in European competitions compared to when the rule was introduced, reducing home advantage.

    It says that is down to a number of factors including pitch quality, improved stadium infrastructure and new technology such as the video assistant referee.

    "The impact of the rule now runs counter to its original purpose as, in fact, it now dissuades home teams – especially in first legs – from attacking, because they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage," Ceferin added.

    "There is also criticism of the unfairness, especially in extra time, of obliging the home team to score twice when the away team has scored.

    "It is fair to say that home advantage is now no longer as significant as it once was."

    Five famous Champions League away goals wins in recent years

    May 2019: Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (3-3 on aggregate – Tottenham win on away goals)

    Lucas Moura celebrating after scoring the winnerLucas Moura is one of only five players to score a Champions League semi-final hat-trick

    Tottenham reached their first Champions League final in the most dramatic of circumstances in May 2019. Trailing Ajax 1-0 from the first leg, Mauricio Pochettino's side trailed 2-0 at half-time of the return game in Amsterdam and looked all certain to be knocked out.

    Step forward Lucas Moura, who scored two goals in four second-half minutes to bring Spurs level on the night, before firing home a 96th-minute winner to complete his hat-trick and send them through to the final.

    April 2019: Man City 4-3 Tottenham (4-4 on aggregate – Tottenham win on away goals)

    Fernando Llorente celebratingFernando Lorente's goal sent Tottenham through a Champions League/European Cup semi-final for the second time in their history

    With Tottenham protecting a 1-0 lead from their quarter-final first leg against Manchester City, the two sides shared five goals inside a chaotic opening 21 minutes of the second leg. Sergio Aguero made it 4-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate in the second half to put Pep Guardiola's side on course for the last four, before Fernando Llorente's header edged Spurs ahead on away goals.

    To add to the drama, Raheem Sterling saw his stoppage-time strike ruled out by VAR, leaving Guardiola on his knees in despair.

    March 2019: Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Man Utd (3-3 on aggregate – Man Utd win on away goals)

    Man Utd players celebratingMarcus Rashford had never previously taken a penalty in a competitive game for Manchester United before his winner at PSG

    Manchester United became the first team in Champions League/European Cup history to overcome a 2-0 or greater home first-leg deficit when they stunned Paris Saint-Germain in March 2019.

    Marcus Rashford was the hero with a nerveless 94th-minute penalty to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate and send the Red Devils through on away goals, arguably securing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the manager's job on a permanent basis in the process.

    April 2018: Roma 3-0 Barcelona (Aggregate 4-4 – Roma win on away goals)

    Roma players celebratingKostas Manolas' header sent Roma through to their first Champions League/European Cup semi-final since 1984

    Another thrilling second-leg comeback, this time from Roma as they overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress past Barcelona and go through to the semi-finals.

    Defender Kostas Manolas scored the crucial third goal, heading in at the near post with eight minutes remaining to spark scenes of delirium inside the Stadio Olimpico.

    May 2009: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (1-1 on aggregate – Barcelona win on away goals)

    Andres Iniesta celebrating his goalAndres Iniesta's shot was Barcelona's first on target and was enough to send them through to the final

    A stoppage-time strike from Andres Iniesta cancelled out Michael Essien's early goal and edged Barcelona past Chelsea and through to the final on away goals back in 2009, sparking scenes of chaos inside Stamford Bridge at full time.

    It was all too much for a furious Didier Drogba who, frustrated at a number of refereeing decisions, launched a verbal tirade to referee Tom Ovrebo after the final whistle before swearing directly down a TV camera as he made his way off the pitch.

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    1055 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • B

      Comment posted by bagseye, at 16:18 24 Jun

      Daniel Levy wants to know if Away Goals would like to be interviewed for the Spurs job45027

      • H

        Reply posted by Hedley Lamarr , at 16:23 24 Jun

        "Daniel Levy wants to know if Away Goals would like to be interviewed for the Spurs job"Hedley Lamarr replied: Already turned down but they may re-interview1098

      More replies (25)

    • D

      Comment posted by Davenotthetvchannel, at 16:18 24 Jun

      Good, the first leg never had extra time for away team get a goal, why should second leg have one. Maybe scrap extra time and go straight to penalties.35555

      • S

        Reply posted by SammyValenteno, at 16:28 24 Jun

        "Good, the first leg never had extra time for away team get a goal, why should second leg have one. Maybe scrap extra time and go straight to penalties."SammyValenteno replied: Good suggestion…6314

      More replies (30)

    • N

      Comment posted by Nick, at 16:14 24 Jun

      It was always ridiculous that the away goals rule counted in extra time.25329

      • M

        Reply posted by Mouse Potato, at 16:22 24 Jun

        "It was always ridiculous that the away goals rule counted in extra time."Mouse Potato replied: I always hated this. But all UEFA needed to do was scrap away goals once they went into extra time2457

      More replies (13)

    • T

      Comment posted by tentpeg, at 16:17 24 Jun

      So take away a rule that has worked for over fifty years and say it’s not relevant. Bit like UEFA really28477

      • S

        Reply posted by SammyValenteno, at 16:29 24 Jun

        "So take away a rule that has worked for over fifty years and say it’s not relevant. Bit like UEFA really"SammyValenteno replied: Any rule works if it is enforced. But is it a good, or sensible rule?958

      More replies (20)

    • D

      Comment posted by DaveP1982, at 16:19 24 Jun

      The away goals rule was fine.. but should never have applied after 90 mins of the 2nd leg nor during these covid times.
      Not really sure why I’m offering my opinion when it doesn’t affect my team anyway!19216

      • M

        Reply posted by mike, at 16:31 24 Jun

        "The away goals rule was fine.. but should never have applied after 90 mins of the 2nd leg nor during these covid times. Not really sure why I’m offering my opinion when it doesn’t affect my team anyway!"mike replied: Now someone who talks sense, yes keep the away goal rule, but it should stop when extra time comes in.9011

      More replies (14)

    • K

      Comment posted by ken, at 16:20 24 Jun

      Only done because some of the big boys got knocked out in the latter stages on the away goal rule18538

      • Removed comment

      More replies (12)

    • E

      Comment posted by Ex-Corshamite, at 16:17 24 Jun

      Poor decision in my opinion. How many great games have we seen over the years when teams attack to get the goal/win. It will result in more boring matches.15028

      • B

        Reply posted by Bluebird63, at 16:33 24 Jun

        "Poor decision in my opinion. How many great games have we seen over the years when teams attack to get the goal/win. It will result in more boring matches."Bluebird63 replied: Can you see a the future . Lol1074

      More replies (14)

    • P

      Comment posted by Pele_Adebola, at 16:16 24 Jun

      “Uefa says there is now a smaller gap between the number of home and away wins as well as home and away goals scored in European competitions compared to when the rule was introduced, reducing home advantage”

      I wonder if that’ll still be the case when fans are back in stadiums964

      • X

        Reply posted by xpb10127, at 16:26 24 Jun

        "“Uefa says there is now a smaller gap between the number of home and away wins as well as home and away goals scored in European competitions compared to when the rule was introduced, reducing home advantage”I wonder if that’ll still be the case when fans are back in stadiums"xpb10127 replied: Between your Chelsea’s and PSGs etc maybe it dm. The players have private planes and 5 star hotels etc so can the even tell what country they are in? But as a Celtic fan it’s all about the games at Parkhead with fans pushing the team on.

        Similarly the fear is the qualifiers in July when we are just back from the holidays playing some Kazakh team in mid season in extreme heat half the world away.2439

      More replies (14)

    • V

      Comment posted by Viewer, at 16:29 24 Jun

      As I recollect, it was introduced for the 1965 / 1966 season. In the previous season’s quarter final, the Liverpool vs Cologne tie ended all square. In those days, this meant a play-off in a neutral country. However, the play-off in Rotterdam also ended all square, and the tie was decided by a toss of the coin, which Liverpool won, but the rule was mocked in the media and UEFA decided to act.851

      • M

        Reply posted by Monkey, at 16:33 24 Jun

        "As I recollect, it was introduced for the 1965 / 1966 season. In the previous season’s quarter final, the Liverpool vs Cologne tie ended all square. In those days, this meant a play-off in a neutral country. However, the play-off in Rotterdam also ended all square, and the tie was decided by a toss of the coin, which Liverpool won, but the rule was mocked in the media and UEFA decided to act."Monkey replied: Correct – and according to my football annual of the time – the replay was played on such a muddy pitch that when the referee first tossed the coin (actually it was a red and white disc) it cam down on its edge and stuck in the mud, so the ref had to clean it up and toss it again on a dry bit of pitch.711

      More replies (24)

    • V

      Comment posted by VSA, at 17:18 24 Jun

      Scrap goals. It only leads to the other team feeling sad. Away with winners and losers as it’s not good for their mental health.874

      • F

        Reply posted by Footy_fan, at 17:58 24 Jun

        "Scrap goals. It only leads to the other team feeling sad. Away with winners and losers as it’s not good for their mental health."Footy_fan replied: Scrap football. Just exchange the jerseys after toss and everyone goes home happy.362

      More replies (8)

    • 6

      Comment posted by 6060 842, at 16:28 24 Jun

      Will discourage attacking play from the away team

      Park the bus!!!!!!!!799

      • Q

        Reply posted by Quiverbow, at 16:47 24 Jun

        "Will discourage attacking play from the away teamPark the bus!!!!!!!!"Quiverbow replied: It won’t if they are losing 2-0.1917

      More replies (5)

    • T

      Comment posted by Theonlysteve, at 17:56 24 Jun

      Those of us who watched European football before this rule change will remember the absolutely dire games especially featuring Italian and Spanish sides where the first leg away team was only ever interested in a draw. That’s why the away goals rule was introduced. I will not be surprised to see a return to those utterly negative tactics.623

      • T

        Reply posted by TIPS, at 17:58 24 Jun

        "Those of us who watched European football before this rule change will remember the absolutely dire games especially featuring Italian and Spanish sides where the first leg away team was only ever interested in a draw. That’s why the away goals rule was introduced. I will not be surprised to see a return to those utterly negative tactics."TIPS replied: Totally agree200

      More replies (3)

    • B

      Comment posted by Boycie55, at 16:25 24 Jun

      An overdue change, although it was enjoyable to watch Man City keep going out on away goals.10142

      • G

        Reply posted by GAZZA, at 16:29 24 Jun

        "An overdue change, although it was enjoyable to watch Man City keep going out on away goals."GAZZA replied: Whatever turns you on.3016

      More replies (6)

    • C

      Comment posted by CommissionerGordon, at 16:14 24 Jun

      Terrible idea! The only impact will be a large increase in the number of penalty shoot-outs!7426

      • S

        Reply posted by SammyValenteno, at 16:31 24 Jun

        "Terrible idea! The only impact will be a large increase in the number of penalty shoot-outs!"SammyValenteno replied: Excellent. What kind of fan doesn’t like the drama of a good penalty shoot out?
        Oh yes, England fans.6123

      More replies (7)

    • D

      Comment posted by davetherave, at 16:19 24 Jun

      I would love to see penalties BEFORE extra time.
      Winner of the shoot out gets the win if the game ends up a draw after extra time.
      It gives extra time some actual meaning and takes away the responsibility of one player missing a penalty, as the whole team gets a chance to rectifiy it.
      Game ends on the whistle as it always should.7943

      • D

        Reply posted by Davenelli, at 16:30 24 Jun

        "I would love to see penalties BEFORE extra time.Winner of the shoot out gets the win if the game ends up a draw after extra time.It gives extra time some actual meaning and takes away the responsibility of one player missing a penalty, as the whole team gets a chance to rectifiy it. Game ends on the whistle as it always should."Davenelli replied: I always thought they should take penalties before the actual match.

        That way one side knows they have to go for it.3429

      More replies (21)

    • H

      Comment posted by Hapax Legomenon, at 16:25 24 Jun

      Isn’t this just going to increase the chances of a game going to extra time, thereby ensuring UEFA can demand greater ad revenue because there will be more people still watching? I dunno about you but this seeems like a convenient money grab more than anything else.4713

      • D

        Reply posted by Doug, at 16:28 24 Jun

        "Isn’t this just going to increase the chances of a game going to extra time, thereby ensuring UEFA can demand greater ad revenue because there will be more people still watching? I dunno about you but this seeems like a convenient money grab more than anything else."Doug replied: Sounds right to me104

      More replies (10)

    • B

      Comment posted by Bobby, at 16:28 24 Jun

      The away goal rule was fine, except that
      it should only ever had applied if the sides were tied after 90 minutes and not include any goals scored in extra time4111

      • T

        Reply posted by TheNightmanCometh, at 18:15 24 Jun

        "The away goal rule was fine, except that it should only ever had applied if the sides were tied after 90 minutes and not include any goals scored in extra time"TheNightmanCometh replied: But then the home team in the 2nd leg has an advantage. Difficult situation to resolve, to be fair. Whatever they decide, people were always going to moan.157

      More replies (2)

    • F

      Comment posted by FP, at 16:14 24 Jun

      Looks like we’re going to penalties lads!!260

      • T

        Reply posted by The Spin Doctor, at 18:38 24 Jun

        "Looks like we’re going to penalties lads!!"The Spin Doctor replied: Just make sure De Gea doesn’t take any of them.234

      More replies (4)

    • N

      Comment posted by Nearly_an_O, at 16:16 24 Jun

      Thought the away goal rule helped make for a more attacking game. We will see if it affects future results. Some statistician will be able to see if it makes a difference after a year of data317

      • F

        Reply posted by Footy_fan, at 16:39 24 Jun

        "Thought the away goal rule helped make for a more attacking game. We will see if it affects future results. Some statistician will be able to see if it makes a difference after a year of data"Footy_fan replied: It was the other way round. Most teams used to play to avoid letting in a goal in the home tie.1211

      More replies (7)

    • F

      Comment posted by Fred, at 16:22 24 Jun

      So the home team in the second leg won’t have an advantage if it goes to extra time? Seriously?255

      • Removed comment

      More replies (4)

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