UEFA Champions’ League Semi and Quarter Final Rulings and Why I Hate Them

UCL 2013

You should too.

Barcelona 3 – 3 PSG (on aggregate.)

Barcelona advances to the semi-finals. But why? The scores are still tied after two matches, one home, and away for each team.

For those of you who don’t know, the team that scores the most away goals clinches the series in the event of a tie, as shown below. I got all this from the official UEFA site.

  Quarter-finals
7.11 The eight winners of the round of 16 contest the quarter-finals. The quarterfinal pairings are determined by means of a draw. The quarter-finals are
played under the knockout system, on a home-and-away basis (two legs). The
team which scores the greater aggregate of goals in the two matches qualifies
for the semi-finals. Otherwise, the stipulations of Article 8 apply.

Semi-finals
7.12 The four winners of the quarter-finals contest the semi-finals. The semi-final
pairings are determined by means of a draw. The semi-finals are played under
the knockout system, on a home-and-away basis (two legs). The team which
scores the greater aggregate of goals in the two matches qualifies for the
final. Otherwise, the stipulations of Article 8 apply.

Article 8
Away goals and extra time under the knockout system
8.01 For matches played under the knockout system, if the two teams involved in a
tie score the same number of goals over the two legs, the team which scores
more away goals qualifies for the next stage. If this procedure does not
produce a result, i.e. if both teams score the same number of goals at home
and away, two 15-minute periods of extra time are played at the end of the second leg. If, during extra time, both teams score the same number of goals,  away goals count double (i.e. the visiting club qualifies). If no goals are scored during extra time, kicks from the penalty mark (Article 17) determine which club qualifies for the next stage. 

(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/competitions/Regulations/01/79/68/69/1796869_DOWNLOAD.pdf)

I can understand that some would argue home field advantage and what-not. But at the same time, I don’t believe it’s enough of an advantage that it should carry a team to the semi’s or the finals.

Some reasons off the top of my head:

1: It creates an unfair advantage to the team that has to play at home first.

2: It creates too much room for lack of exciting competition. Because at least 3 times in the competition, you have a club simply playing for a draw that will allow them to win. Who enjoys that?

3: Extra time and shootouts are very exciting and enjoyable. If these ties went straight to them, it gives people a better idea of which team has the more willpower, conditioning, and ability to hit the net from 12 yards (which for some, is quite impossible) and which goalkeepers are in better form.

That’s my take on it. Sound off and let me hear yours, ramble away!


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