The away goals rule has confused people for hundreds of years…it is not just today’s football fans who get confused as this dialogue between Julius Caesar and Brutus confirms. But what are away goals and why do they matter?
Julius Caesar was addressing the crowd in the Coliseum.
"Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your ears. Tomorrow I take our glorious army to conquer Northern Europe and I shall start with France. We shall kill many Gauls and return victorious."
The crowd are up on their feet "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, Hail mighty Caesar!"
Brutus turns to his mate and says ," He doesn't half talk some rubbish, eh? He couldn't fight his way out of a wet parchment bag."
Six months later, Caesar comes back having conquered France and addresses the crowd in the Coliseum: "Friends, Romans and Countrymen, I have returned from our campaign in France and, as I promised, we killed 50,000 Gauls."
The crowd are up on their feet again. "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, Hail mighty Caesar!"
Brutus once again turns to his mate and says, "I'm sick of his nonsense, I'm off to France to check this out."
So Brutus sets of for France and three weeks later he comes back to Rome. Caesar is addressing the public in the Coliseum again: "Friends, Romans and Countrymen, tomorrow we set off for Britain and we are going to sort those b*stards out"
The crowd are up on their feet. "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, Hail mighty Caesar!"
Brutus jumps up and shouts "Caesar, you are a liar. You told us you had killed 50,000 Gauls in France but I've been there to check it out and you only killed 25,000 !!!!"
The crowd is stunned and all sit down in silence.
Caesar gets up and looks slowly round the Coliseum then across at Brutus and says, "Brutus, you are forgetting one thing.........Away Gauls count double in Europe."
The away goals rule is a method to break ties in two leg football fixtures and are most often heard referred to when talking about results from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League where the away goals rule is used.
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The away goals rule is applied to determine a winner when the aggregate goals is level between the two teams after both matches of the fixture have been played.
For example, if Team A defeats Team B at home 1-0 but Team A then loses on the road to Team B but by a score of 2-1. The two teams have each scored 2 goals but Team A advances due to scoring an away goal. The away goal is considered to ‘count double’ so that the aggregate would be 3-2 in Team A advantage.
The away goal rule was implemented by UEFA in 1965 with the goal of giving teams an incentive to yes…score more goals, especially when on the road when visitors tend to play more defensively.
The away goal rule is applied more often than you may think. It occurred in the 2012 Champions League tie between Inter Milan and Marseille.
What a cruel way to be dumped from the Champions League by Inter Milan. Marseille rode two second half stoppage time to the final eight.
The away goal can sometimes get even more confusing as it did in a fixture between AC Milan and Inter Milan in the 2003 Champions League. Both teams play their ‘home’ matches at the San Siro. After the first match ended 0-0 and the second match ended 1-1, A.C. Milan advanced as they were the ‘home’ team in the second leg.
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