Time for UEFA to revert to goal difference in Champions League

December 6, 2011

My head is hurting after all the mathematics that has been needed to work out qualification chances in the Champions League.

It is all because UEFA believes head-to-heads rather than goal difference in all group games should be the first deciding factor.

Many don’t see the logic of this. Using goal difference as the first determining factor, like many domestic leagues, encourages attacking play for a start which is surely a laudable aim. Head-to-heads don’t especially.

The reason head-to-heads is preferred seems to be because one team could have scored many more goals against the group whipping boys than their rivals and this is deemed an unfair advantage. Why?

If Team A batter Team C 7-0 and Team B only beats Team C 1-0, why should Team A be penalised if their head-to-head with Team B is worse. The head-to-head could be 0-0 and 1-1 and Team A would go out on one away goal.

It would be so much more accessible and understandable for the average fan if it was just goal difference (and then goals scored and then perhaps a playoff on a neutral ground) rather than the sometimes mindboggling head-to-heads which can get very tricky when three teams are involved.

Most of the media organisations in Europe got it wrong when trying to work out what Chelsea needed to do in the final round of matches because the rules were so complex. That can’t be right.

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Head to head in CL is a positive thing, as it encourages every game to be taken serioulsy where all clubs field their best team in all games, thereby providing a consistent high standard of football

Posted by tatrover | Report as abusive