# How teams are ranked if they are equal in points in UCL groups

Quoting from from the UEFA rules:

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:

a. higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
b. superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
c. higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
d. higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;
e. if, after having applied criteria a) to d), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to l) apply;
f. superior goal difference in all group matches;
g. higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
h. higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
i. higher number of wins in all group matches;
j. higher number of away wins in all group matches;
k. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received in all group matches (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
l. higher club coefficient (see Annex D).

I don't see the point of rule "e". For me

group matches played among the teams in question

is exactly the same as

exclusively to the matches between the teams in question

But then Uefa throws us a curveball:

5) if, after having applied criteria a) to d), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to h) apply;

Say what now? Is that not what we just did? Applied those rules to the "teams in question"? I thought, perhaps, I'd read something wrong and Uefa meant all members of the specified group, rather than the three even on points. But that doesn't make sense either:

Could someone give an example of when rule "e" applies?

It's used when you started with three teams equal on points, but one (and only one) of the teams was ruled out via criteria (a) to (d). For simplicity, I'll go with a scenario where each team plays each other once only rather than twice. Imagine the results are:

A beats B 2 - 0
A loses to C 1 - 2
A beats D 1 - 0
B beats C 3 - 0
B beats D 1 - 0
C beats D 1 - 0

After this, A, B and C all have six points and D has zero points so we need to separate A, B and C:

• (a): We consider the matches played between A, B and C. Each team has three points.
• (b): We consider the matches played between A, B and C. A and B have a goal difference of +1, C has a goal difference of -2. C is ranked lower than the other teams.
• (c): Note that we still consider the matches played between A, B and C. Nothing says to eliminate the matches involving team C (yet). A and B have both scored 3 goals.
• (d): (Skipping for this example because I don't have home and away matches)

We now apply criterion (e), which says to repeat steps (a) to (d) only on the matches involving teams A and B. A is declared the winner as they beat team B.

Note that if the A - C result had instead been 0 - 1, team B would have been the winner as they would have scored more goals in the matches involving teams A, B and C.