The End of ‘Away Goals’

As we enter the knock out stage of the Champions League this season, the controversial rule that specially favored away goals will no longer be in affect. UEFA held a meeting with coaches to discuss the pros and cons of the rule, ultimately deciding that it should be abolished. This marks the first change in the rule since it was initiated in 1965.

When asked about the decision, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted that he never “fully understood” the rule. He cited that games ending 3-1 and games ending 2-0 should be treated the same as mathematically they have the same goal differential. He went on to elaborate that allowing tied games to go into extra time and penalties would help add clarity to the system.

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As a fan who group up with the away goals rule, I did enjoy the added excitement it provided in games when dealing with tied scorelines. Teams had the ability to go from losing a match to winning the whole tie a matter of one goal. This was exciting when it benefitted your team, but left you questioning the whole system if your squad was eliminated.

Although this is the end of a somewhat nostalgic period (similar to the Golden Goal era), I think that UEFA is making the correct decision here. Considering we are coming off a champions league season in 2021 where Covid-19 kept stadiums empty, the away goals rule seemed unnecessary.

What are your thoughts on the away goals rule?

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