Do away goals count in Champions League ties at neutral venues? Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea all affected by COVID-19 restrictions
The Champions League returns this week with the knockout stages now up and running.
Europe’s best will battle it out in their last-16 ties over the next few weeks with a host of big names still in the competition.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City will be flying the flag for the Premier League while the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are still going strong.
Now that the group stage is done, we are down to the real busy of knockout football.
This phase of Europe’s elite competition is always exciting and introduces the jeopardy of the away goals rule.
But there is an added complication this season as some ties will be held in natural venues, raising the question as to whether away goals will count or not.
Do away goals count at neutral venues?
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a number of matches will be held at neutral venues this season.
RB Leipzig vs Liverpool and Borussia Monchengladbach vs Man City took place in Budapest while Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea will be held in Bucharest.
Despite those ‘home’ teams losing the advantage of playing in their own stadiums, away goals will still count and be used as a tiebreaker if needed.
This is because UEFA have opted for a blanket rule for all ties as other matches are going ahead as normal.
Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea are all set to play at their home grounds in the second legs of their ties next month.
The away goal rule will come into effect if a tie is level after extra-time in the second-leg, for example in a 2-2 draw.
Last season, Lyon beat Juventus to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. They lost their second leg tie 2-1 in Turin but went through on away goals in a 2-2 aggregate draw.
In addition, away goals do still count in extra time. Should an away team take the lead in extra time, the home team would then have to score twice to progress under the away goals rule.
Champions League last 16 draw
- Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City: First leg – February 24 / Second leg – March 16
- Lazio vs Bayern Munich: First leg – February 23 / Second leg – March 17
- Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea: First leg – February 23 / Second leg – March 17
- RB Leipzig vs Liverpool: First leg – 0–2 / Second leg – March 10
- Porto vs Juventus: First leg – 2–1 / Second leg – March 9
- Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: First leg – 1–4 / Second leg – March 10
- Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund: First leg – 2–3 / Second leg – March 9
- Atalanta vs Real Madrid: First leg – February 24 / Second leg – March 16