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Wenger asked UEFA to cancel Champions League away goals rule

Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Saturday, December 21, 2013
10:47 PM

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he asked UEFA to scrap the away goals rule after it saw Arsenal crash out of last season’s Champions League.

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The Gunners have been drawn against Bayern Munich in the last-16 of this season’s Europe’s premier compeition, just as they were last term.

Twelve months ago the north Londoners lost 3-1 at home to the Bundesliga giants but then went to Bavaria and won 2-0, only for the German side progress to the quarter finals on their way to winning the competition at Wembley Stadium.

Wenger, whose team face Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday, said: “Last year we went out on away goals and after that I asked for UEFA to cancel the away goals. We lost 3-1 here and then won 2-0 at Bayern.

“The weight of the away goal is too heavy, too big and is not justifiable anymore.”

The rule was introduced before the Champions League era, when the competition was still called the European Cup and Wenger believes it’s not necessary now.

“People are surprised by my question, but I think it a problem in the modern game,” said the Arsenal boss who brought the matter to a recent managers’ meeting in Geneva.

“Why did they put the away goal in? Because there was nothing on television.

“When you went out of the European Cup [in the past], you got kicked everywhere, but nobody said a word, so to encourage the teams to play they said, ‘OK, we’ll give you an incentive for the away game’.

“However, in the modern game everything is on television and analysed, so there is not a big difference anymore.

“Sometimes I think there is a counter-effect as teams play at home not to concede goals - now at home, the first thing managers say is, ‘Let’s not concede goals’.”

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