UEFA Champions League Regulations Book 2013/14 - Group Stage - Criteria for Teams Equal on Points

Published on November 26th, 2013 - Written by: Vedran M.

UEFA Champions League Regulations Book - IllustrationWith the UEFA Champions League group stage coming to an end, it looks like we could potentially see a situation, in Group F, where three teams end up with the same number of points. What happens then? Who qualifies?

The teams in question are Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

Let's take a look at the UEFA regulations book and see what the official rules are:

If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings (in descending order):

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. Higher number of goals scored away from home in matches played among the teams in question

5. Superior goal difference from all group matches played

6. Higher number of goals scored from all group matches played

7. Higher number of coefficient points accumulated by clubs over the the previous five seasons


Let's say that in the last round of games in Group F, Borussia Dortmund manage a 0-1 victory in Marseille and Napoli manage to beat Arsenal 1-0 at home. All three teams would end up with twelve points. This is a very likely scenario according to the odds.

In this exact case, as the UEFA regulations book says, we would have three teams that have two wins and two losses from games they played among themselves. If we apply the second criteria, which is to count the goal difference from games the teams played among themselves, the final standings would be:

Borussia Dortmund: 7 goals scored, 5 conceded
Arsenal: 4 goals scored, 3 conceded
Napoli: 4 goals scored, 6 conceded

Basically, Arsenal are through, unless they lose by three goals or more in Naples.

If Borussia win in Marseille, they are through.

Will be interesting to see how things play out!