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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

If teams finish level on points in the UEFA Champions League group stage, what tie-breaker is used?

Plenty of teams have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, but what happens if two teams finish level?

Update:
Plenty of teams have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, but what happens if two teams finish level?
FRANCK FIFEAFP

The group stage of the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League is nearing its conclusion, with plenty of teams, including Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, having sealed their places in the round of 16 on matchday four, while several others, including the Group of Death, having to wait until the last second to learn their fate.

Newcastle - AC Milan: follow the game live!

What happens when teams finish level on points?

There are plenty of close battles elsewhere, however, with just a few points separating first-placed Borussia Dortmund and fourth-placed Milan in Group F, aka the “Group of Death”, meaning anything could happen.

With that in mind, there is more than a realistic chance of a number of teams ending matchday six with the same number of points. Were that to happen, the head-to-head record between the teams in question would be used as the first tie-breaker, a change from overall goal difference, which has been used for the majority of the competition’s history.

If more than two teams are tied on overall points in the group, then the total number of points amassed from matches between the teams in question is taken into consideration.

What is the full list of tie-breakers used in the UCL group stage?

Goal difference in the group is now the second tie-breaker, followed by the total number of goals scored.

The full list of tie-breakers, as stated by UEFA, is the following:

UEFA Champions League group stage tie-breakers

  1. higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
  2. superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
  3. higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
  4. if, after having applied criteria 1) to 3), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1) to 3) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the remaining teams to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5) to 11) apply in the order given to the two or more teams still equal;
  5. superior goal difference in all group matches;
  6. higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
  7. higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
  8. higher number of wins in all group matches;
  9. higher number of away wins in all group matches;
  10. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received by players and team officials in all group matches (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
  11. higher club coefficient.
Rules