UEFA Champions League 2021/22: Away Goal rule abolished


UEFA Champions League 2021/22: Away Goal rule – The 2021/22 Champions League knockout stage gets underway later this evening with an important change to the rules, one which determined so many ties in previous editions of the tournament. In June last year, UEFA took the decision to abolish the away goals rule in all two-legged European ties. Introduced in 1965, the away goals rule stated that all goals scored by the visiting team in both home and away legs would count as double if the aggregate score ended level. Follow InsideSport.IN for the latest sports news and updates.

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The ‘Away Goal rule’ has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA

Many famous victories were celebrated due to the away goals rule over the years – Andrés Iniesta broke Chelsea’s hearts by bagging a stoppage-time winner at Stamford Bridge in the 2008/9 semi-final – the tie ended 1-1 but it was Barça, as the visitors, who advanced. The Catalans found out what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the away goals rule when Roma heroically clawed their way back after losing the first leg 4-1 to win 3-0 on home soil. The tie ended 4-4 on aggregate but Edin Dzeko’s goal at Camp Nou counted as double, so the Italians progressed to the semis.

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: How will the game be decided after a tie?

So from today, all two-legged ties which end level after the home and away matches have been played will go to extra-time – 15 minutes per half. At the end of that, if the score is still level, the game will be resolved from the penalty spot – a shootout involving five players from each side which will go to sudden death if it remains level after both teams have taken all of their five spot-kicks.

“The away goals rule has been an intrinsic part of UEFA competitions since it was introduced in 1965. However, the question of its abolition has been debated at various UEFA meetings over the last few years. Although there was no unanimity of views, many coaches, fans and other football stakeholders have questioned its fairness and have expressed a preference for the rule to be abolished.”

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The 'Away Goal rule' has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA
UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The ‘Away Goal rule’ has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The Away Goal rule

Mr Čeferin added: “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. 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 nowadays no longer as significant as it once was,“ the UEFA President concluded. “Taking into consideration the consistency across Europe in terms of styles of play, and many different factors which have led to a decline in home advantage, the UEFA Executive Committee has taken the correct decision in adopting the view that it is no longer appropriate for an away goal to carry more weight than one scored at home.”

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The 'Away Goal rule' has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA
UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The ‘Away Goal rule’ has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA

UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The ‘Away Goal rule’ has been abolished for the UCL 2021/22 season as confirmed by the UEFA

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