UEFA eliminates the extra value of goals in the opposite field in the event of a tie | sports


Mbappé and Suele, in the Bayern-PSG quarter-finals of the last Champions League that was decided by the double value of the goals.
Mbappé and Suele, in the Bayern-PSG quarter-finals of the last Champions League that was decided by the double value of the goals.LUKAS BARTH-TUTTAS / EFE

The European club playoffs will no longer be the same from next season. Inevitably, they will not play the same way. UEFA on Thursday eliminated a rule that has conditioned the way of dealing with these crosses for more than half a century. Goals in the opposite field will not be worth more. When the end of the two games with a tie is reached in the aggregate count, they will go to extra time and, if there is no movement, to penalties.

The now-disappearing rule has marked strategies and even playing philosophies for many teams since 1965, when the law was enacted. A goal at home became a treasure for decades, the key to many confrontations. Scoring in the first leg as a visitor was the great aspiration of many teams with the hope of solving 15 days later with the support of their fans.

Avoiding fitting in at home in the first match or making the most of the one achieved away from home led to more conservative, corseted and defensive approaches. Each mistake was penalized twice. Now, eliminating this criterion in the event of a tie, the European qualifiers will inevitably change. It will apply from the following season in all UEFA men’s, women’s and youth club competitions.

For example, in the last edition of the Champions League, two crosses were resolved in this way. Bayern and PSG, champions and runners-up of the previous edition, met in the quarter-finals in a huge battle, especially in Munich. There the Parisians won 2-3 while in the Parc des Princes the winners (insufficient) were the Germans (0-1). The three goals obtained by the French in the Allianz Arena almost sentenced the crossing despite the difference of one goal because it practically forced the Germans to win in the second leg by two. Juventus-Porto in the last 16 was the other tie decided by this factor. In Portugal the Portuguese won 2-1. In Turin they had to resort to extra time and, there, a goal from Sergio Oliveira in the 115th minute inclined the duel and made the last goal of the White black Rabiot. The Italians won (3-2), but Porto’s two goals struck them down.

Statistics, according to the highest body of European football, also pushed this great change. In his note he explained that the incidence between playing at home and away has been decreasing since the mid-1970s and, therefore, it was no longer necessary to prioritize goals scored as a visitor. UEFA detailed how the difference between the number of local and foreign victories has diminished significantly in this period. If four decades ago the percentage was 61% -19% in favor of home wins, now it is set at 47% -30%. And the same has happened with the number of goals in the men’s tournaments. At the beginning of this analysis period, the correlation was an average of 2.02 targets marked in the home field and 0.95 as a visitor, while at the moment it is 1.58-1.15.

“Against the original purpose”

In his opinion, there are several factors that have reduced this distance: “The higher quality of the playing fields and the standardization of the dimensions, the improvement of the stadium infrastructures, the refereeing (including the recent VAR), the greater and better television coverage, more comfortable conditions for the teams to travel, a compressed calendar that imposes the rotation of the squads and changes in the formats of the competitions ”, points out UEFA.

”The impact of the rule went against its original purpose as, in fact, it now deters home teams, especially in the first leg, from attacking, because they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage. ”, Defends the president, Aleksander Ceferin. “The injustice is also criticized, especially in overtime, of forcing the premises to score twice when the visitor has scored,” he adds.

Diego Simeone, one of the most favorable to this modification, has positioned himself several times on this latest argument from the UEFA president. “I don’t understand why in the second game the visitor has a better chance because he has an extra 30 minutes to score a goal that is worth more. We would have to find a solution ”, he said in 2017 in a tie against Leicester.

So you end a rule that has been a decisive factor since the mid-1960s. That the draw would dictate playing the second leg at home and scoring a goal from the first leg was the obsession of the vast majority of teams for years and years. In recent times, the advantage of playing the second match at home has been blurred and, now, this UEFA modification adds another element that substantially changes the two-legged matches. Despite the fact that, as UEFA recognized, there is no unanimity in this regard, a 1-1 in the first leg will no longer be a tragedy for the local team.

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