Why UEFA has scrapped the away goals rule
It's away with away goals for UEFA...
Ahead of the 2021/2022 Champions League campaign, a number of rules have been changed - including a drastic change to the famous away goal rule.
Previously, away goals would essentially count as an extra goal should the game finish level after both legs of the tie. However, UEFA have now scrapped the rule and the competition will operate without it for the first time since it was introduced in 1965.
The rule was popular amongst the majority of football fans as it put increased pressure on the home team to try and not concede and on the other hand, provided the away side with a chance to steal a victory, even if it looked unlikely.
Now, regardless of how many away goals each team scores in their respective away game, any second-leg ties that are drawn in the competition will instead go to extra-time and then a penalty shoot-out if needed.
Speaking on the rule change, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin explained their decision to scrap away goals earlier in the year: "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."
Alongside some of Europe's other heavyweights, the four Premier League sides - Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United - that are in this season's Champions League tournament will have to quickly adapt to a rule change that will be completely alien to them should they make it beyond the group stage.
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