Fans will not be allowed inside the Parc des Princes on Wednesday to witness Paris Saint-Germain take on Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The decision was made on Monday morning in an effort to keep the public safe due to the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus), which has killed thousands around the world.
If there is nothing that can be done to reverse the decision to play the game behind closed doors, perhaps UEFA can make a rule change to level the playing field a bit. One Twitter user has a suggestion:
Is it possible to do away with the away goal rule in second leg? If not, it is unfair advantage for Dortmund
— Jopaul Johny (@JopaulJohny) March 9, 2020
As you know, an away goal is more valuable in the Champions League knockout stage because if two teams are level on aggregate score after two legs, the team with more away goals will advance.
We saw this last season against Manchester United. PSG won the first leg 2-0 at Old Trafford and then lost the second leg in Paris by a score of 3-1. With the aggregate score tied at 3-3, it was the Red Devils who advanced to the quarter-finals because they scored three away goals compared to PSG’s two.
The reason why away goals are more valuable is that, in theory, it’s more difficult to score in an away stadium in front of a hostile crowd. It also encourages teams to be more proactive on the road.
Why should a goal for Lucien Favre’s side at the Parc des Princes count as much as the one Neymar Jr. scored in front of the Yellow Wall at Signal Iduna Park?
If UEFA was innovative at all, they would make an announcement that for games being played behind closed doors in the upcoming Round of 16 matches, the away goal rule will not apply. So, for PSG’s match against Dortmund, if the aggregate score is tied after 90 minutes, the Parisians should advance due to the goal they scored in the first leg. That’s the only way to make this situation fair.
Unfortunately, UEFA is not known for adapting quickly or doing the right thing most of the time, so don’t hold your breath for this happening. PSG will simply have to prove they are the better team on the pitch and advance to the quarter-finals where fans will hopefully be allowed back into the stadium.
Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG Talking, The 1970, and 24th & Parc.