The away goals rule in UEFA competitions is one of its many botched implementations, and the scrutiny surrounding its existence in such a major tournament has only intensified over the past week. Hopefully with the two recent, high-profile exits based on away goals, UEFA takes a hard look at whether or not the rule is serving its competition fairly.
Arsene Wenger, for one, believes UEFA needs to reexamine their method of tie-breakers:
"Two (English) teams have gone out on away goals. That I think should be questioned because it is a rule that is outdated now. That has to be changed and I fight for that for a long time."
"Look it should count maybe after extra-time because this rule has been created in the 60’s to favour teams who attack away from home. But since then football has changed and with this rule the weight of the away goal is too big today."
He's absolutely spot-on here. Not only does the away goal change the actual value of a goal, which at its surface is silly and needless, it allows the lower-seeded clubs an extra 30 minutes of game time on the road - if tied at aggregate after 180 minutes - to score goals that are valued more at that exact time than their host. The absurdity of this so happened to rear its ugly head last week at Stamford Bridge, and knocked out Arsenal for the second time in the last five years in the Round of 16 on Tuesday due to this exact rule.
Changing or modifying the rule now, of course, doesn't help Arsenal or Chelsea this season. It might even end up hurting them in future competitions. But removing the current tie-breaking factor to reflect a fairer way to determine a true victor needs to happen if UEFA wants to maintain the integrity of the matches played in their tournaments.