There’s a little confusion about Rangers and a 5-0 win tonight. Aside the slim chance of it happening, Rangers fans are a little uncertain about whether that will actually take Rangers to the Europa League, with some wondering about goal difference and permutations.
So let’s take you through UEFA’s own guidelines about how it works:
If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order given to determine their rankings:
- higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
- superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
- higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
- if, after having applied criteria a) to c), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) 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 e) to k) apply in the order given to the two or more teams still equal;
- superior goal difference in all group matches;
- higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
- higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
- higher number of wins in all group matches;
- higher number of away wins in all group matches;
- 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);
- higher club coefficient (see Annex D).
So, the crucial bit is ‘B’ “superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question” – that means head to head. Matches played against each other by the teams affected by deadlock. So, in other words, if Rangers win 4-0, the GD between us and Ajax will be 0. Which means we go to C. Still deadlocked. So we go to D. Which still leaves a deadlock.
So THEN we go to E and that’s where Ajax would comfortably go through on overall GD in the group.
BUT it all changes if Rangers score 5. That’s the magic number that if Rangers do score 5 to no reply, Rangers go through to UEL clean. That means the direct H2H is taken regarding goal difference.
But that’s the only result that can see Rangers finish third. We have to score five more than Ajax tonight and that’s the one that takes us further in Europe.
Beyond that, it’s all them. It’s even laughable that they could forfeit the match for a 3-0 and go through with that.
So that’s the lot. Anything less than a 5-0 or 6-1 etc, Ajax go through.
It’ll be a tough one!