Wenger would welcome away-goal change


Arsene Wenger believes that there’s an appetite within UEFA to change the away goals rule which saw Arsenal eliminated from this season’s Champions League.

Although both teams scored three goals over the course of the tie, Arsenal went out because Bayern scored three at the Emirates to Arsenal’s two at the Allianz Arena. And after recent discussion of the rule, implemented in the 1960s, the Arsenal manager thinks it’s time for a re-think.

Speaking to the official Arsenal Magazine, Wenger said, “It is certainly very debatable, this rule, and I don’t say that because we have gone out on away goals. It’s something I have raised many times at UEFA meetings.

“In the modern game you can say the weight of this away goal is certainly too heavy. Look at our game. There were two goals difference between us and Bayern in the first game, and two goals difference in the second, but because of this rule we go out.

“We have to find a mixed formula, when maybe the away goals are only taken into consideration if the teams are still level after extra-time. In that second game with Bayern, if they were not going through with that away goal, they would have attacked more, so would we, and the last 20 minutes would have been more interesting.

“So sometimes the rule blocks an offensive game, and encourages defensive football.”

While UEFA have been quick to rid the game of creeping threats like snoods and t-shirts with messages scrawled on them, they’ve been slow to do anything about this, but Wenger is sure something will happen soon.

“There are open discussions about it,” he said, “and many people have the same opinion as me. If people want to keep it I would suggest it only counts after extra time, but to be honest, I am ready to scrap it completely and go straight to penalties.”

Arseblog News will bring you the news of the rule’s scrapping in early 2019.



  1. To be honest, it shouldn’t be any away goal rule at any time. If they would remove it from the original 90 min. and have it in the extra time. That would be pretty unfair for the team that plays at home. Having to score 2 goals within 30 minutes if they concede one goal in the extra time.

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    • Lasagna: That’s basically the same right now, if a team scores in the 80th minute. I agree that the away goal rule should be forgotten, but what the Boss says means that the home team has 30 more minutes to make up for the extra away goal against them by scoring another. It’s an in-between solution, not a worse one.

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    • Playing extra time is exhausting. The difference between playing 90 min and 120 min is huge in terms of recovery time. I’m surprised Wenger wants the players to play more at a time in the season when they’re already running on fumes.

      The away goal rule is not that bad. Wenger’s argument about the rule blocking an offensive game is weak. The difference in the value of goals away and at home more often means that one of the teams plays for a win rather than for a draw. I don’t like the alternative of having shoot-outs right after full time.

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      • Well, if Wenger can actually complete his squad for the first time in years, maybe that extra time wouldn’t be that big of an issue. If next year, it truly weren’t, and we lost out on the CL quarter finals yet again because of the away goal rule, would you be really alright with it? I understand your concern, but I’m sure most of our players would prefer to continue in the Champion’s League than get a little extra rest… (and I say most, because I’m assuming those who are injured would prefer some much needed rest).

        The away goal rule pretty much helps decide the game in the first leg… it limits and changes how football is played ENTIRELY in the second leg – you could see prime examples in our recent CL game… even without any productive attacking intent, without Ribery, without half of the class they showed at the Emirates, Bayern continues in the CL because all they had to do during the game was bunker down and try to keep possession in the midfield. The difference of one goal, which did not exist was just enough to influence the game that much…

        Whether it should stay or go, is a significant question that needs to be asked because it has a gigantic impact on major games.

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    • Absolutely, this is the really big problem for me. When Sp*rs played Inter they won because they had 120 minutes to find an away goal, whereas Inter only had 90. How is that fair?

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  2. Away goals never really made that much sense to me. If you score as many as the opposition then why should it matter where the goals were scored. And if you argue that the one team was stronger by scoring more away, you can also argue that they were also weaker at home. It really doesn’t make much sense if you weren’t told before hand that that’s how things should work. What’s wrong with extra time and penalties when the amount of goals scored are the same.

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  3. The way Inter had to score twice in extra-time just because Spurs got one. It’s a pathetic rule. Goals are goals, regardless of home or away.

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  4. so apparantly we have lost on the away goal rules 7 out of the 8 times we were involved in such a situation…anyone know which games these were ?

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    • I had a look and it seems about right. (Yes, I am stuck home ill, and yes, I am THAT bored).

      4 in Europe

      1). 71– Fairs cup VS Koln in the semi’s
      2). 81– UEFA cup VS FC Winterslag 2nd round
      3). 01– CL VS Valencia QF
      4). 13– You know the rest

      Add a couple of league cup semis: Wigan in 06, Villa in 96.

      Either the numbers are off or I’ve missed one.

      The one we benefited? We went through on away goals in 2nd round of UEFA cup in 78-79

      One more of note: 87 league cup– we would have won on away goals against the neighbours and they made us replay at their dump (we got the cup despite that). They brought in away goals the next year.

      By the way if you want to highlight how crazy the away goals rule is; try this:

      AC Milan played Inter in the 2003 Champion’s league semi, scores were 0-0, 1-1 with AC Milan going through on away goals. The crazy of course is that both teams play in the same stadium.

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  5. Wenger making sense that the margin in both games was 2 goals, so in those terms we deserved extra time to fight for our place. But I don’t think it’s fair to only account away goals in ET, either leave it as is, or scrap it completely. Personally I don’t mind either as every team plays by those rules and games are interesting nevertheless!

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  6. I’ve never really understood away goals.

    If we think it’s fine for the most important games in all of football (cup finals) to be decided via extra-time and penalties then why would we have a different system for knockout stages prior to the final?

    Yes, scoring away goals is an achievement, but if the score is level and you have scored more away goals it means you have performed worse at home. One is not better than the other..

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  7. Away goal makes as much sense as shitting in a can. Abolish that shit. On the down side will teams be more complacent ( just seeing the game out) knowing very well nothing other than a goal of +1 will take em through. I see many, many games ending in penalty shootouts. Which I hate.

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      • Many years ago, I realised the simplest way to deal with penalty shootouts was to get up, leave the room and come back about 10 minutes later for the analysis.

        Unless England are involved, in which case don’t bother with the last part, as there are only so many ways you can hear pundits say we were unlucky to go out before it drives you nuts.

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        • Heh, yeah all that makes sense.

          I don’t care what age I am but when it’s a penalty shoot out I promptly bury my face in my hands and peak slightly to see if ‘it’ has gone in….

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  8. “Arseblog News will bring you the news of the rule’s scrapping in early 2019.”

    You sure about saying that? Safer to say they will respond for the first time by that time

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  9. ‘Arseblog will bring you the news of the rule’s scrapping this in early 2019’…nothing beats that really! Good job arseblog!

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  10. to be honest I’m more than happy to scrap it if it means I never have to listen to the likes of Clive Tyldesley or some other half rate commentator harp on trying to explain it every other 10 minutes in the most patronising way they possibly can acting as if they’re the only people in football who fully understand the rule.

    Also, any rule that allows that lot from up the road to get spanked 4-1 by Inter and still go through should be scrapped with immediate effect.

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  11. One easy way not to get knocked out on the away goals rule is to turn up for your home tie and then defend properly. It helps if you have a manager who actually knows how to organise a defence.

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    • like the same way bayern organized theirs? We have plenty of changes to get 3 we just didn’t finish. Personally I’d rather get beat 3-1 than 2-0. nothing worse than getting shutout.

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    • I hear that Arsene Wenger wants UEFA to give teams finishing outside the top two in the league a 20 p0int start the following season. Make for a more even comp I suppose.

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  12. I would like to see that rule changed and hopefully it will get looked at. I seem to remember watching many games where minnows have been put out by bigger teams because of this rule. I wonder what the alternatives might be though?
    – Team with fewest yellow/reds goes through?
    – Penalties?
    – Replay at a neutral venue?

    None of these are great ideas either. Anyone got the answer?

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  13. The away goals rule has no basis in logic and is psychologically flawed, it’s principal effect being to make home teams petrified of conceding…you know there is a problem when both managers regard 0-0 as a good result in the first leg…it was introduced over 40 years ago before the Yanks came up with the penalty shoot-out and has long since passed its use-by date, GET RID OF IT!…penalties aren’t ideal but at least one team has scored more times than the other…

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  14. If you look at from the perspective that bayern is being rewarded for being shutout at home, I can see where wenger comes from. we may have lost at home, but at least the team tried to score. Because of away goals, Bayern just played defensive football at home instead of on the road. I would have loved to see both teams go full outin both games. I think most people would prefer this over the Chelsea cunty way of playing.

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  15. I just hope we bloody stay in the Champions League, no use debating about something if you’re not even a part of it.

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  16. I like the away goals rule…It brings psychology and tactical skill into the game. It also gives an underdog a better chance to progress.

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    • This is the champions league not the shitty League Cup. The best team should progress, the team that scores most goals.

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      • The team that scores the most goals always gets through, it’s only a tiebreaker. If you want to make the case that the best team should progress, you would not argue that penalties do the job better.

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    • “It also gives an underdog a better chance to progress.”

      Not if the reason that they’re the underdog is that they’re playing the away leg having got spanked at home it doesn’t……

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  17. If they want games to be offensive, how about we change the rule to this:

    “If only a single team is shutout during the 2 matches and the goal count is equal, the team that was shutout loses”

    so if a team won 1-0 and lost 2-1 they would be eliminated. that forces teams to try and score, not away goals.

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    • and if no team is shutout or both have been shutout (e.g 1-0, 0-1) then they play it out inextra time and if need be penalties

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  18. The away goals rule, in my opinion, is crucial to making the Champions League so fantastic to watch. It forces road teams to have urgency to attack. And watching as a neutral, there are few things more exciting than second leg games where one goal changes the result without a possibility of a draw.

    Though I do agree that extra time goals should be of equal value.

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  19. There’s only one reason to like the away goals rule.

    The sheer pleasure to be gained from seeing ignorant sports hacks declaring things like “Arsenal need to score at least two goals to have a chance of going through”.
    Thanks to the Daily Telegraph for that gem before the Bayern game.

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  20. Could always scrap off the 2 legs and have a knock out with no replays.

    This away goals…whiever team that wins 1-0 in first leg always have the advantage.

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  21. Arsenal was well beaten by Bayern Munich in the first leg and Bayern slept their way through the second leg.
    Thats why Bayern are a champion team who wins trophies . Arsenal plays for fourth and never wins anything.

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    • Which highlights the whole problem with Away goals, as Bayern figured the goals they scored in London meant the tie was already won. Which meant they coasted and almost got caught out.

      No away goals means Bayern concede 2 and they are in trouble. If they choose to coast under those circumstances; they deserve everything they get.

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