Suppose two teams in the same group are tied at 4 points each with the same number of goals, but they did not tie the head-to-head match the other won, and they did not play the last match of the group against each other.

How is the final ranking in the group determined if these teams are ranked in second and third of the group between themselves? Does the head-to-head rule apply here?

  • If there were ever a situation in the Champions League were a match wasn't played, UEFA would be making a ruling on the situation rather than trying to do anything "by the book". This is the most important club competition in the world, you just don't get situations were matches "aren't played". – Philip Kendall Feb 7 '18 at 19:27

The regulations give a list of 12 criteria applied in descending order. They are summarised here for brevity purposes, see the full text for details.

a. higher number of points

The teams are tied.

b. greater goal difference among matches between tied teams

c. greater goals-for among matches between tied teams

d. greater away goals-for among matches between tied teams

e. if any ties remain, repeat the above until no further separation is possible

Since there was no game between the tied teams, these criteria have no information to make a decision with. The teams remain tied.

f. greater goals-difference in all matches

This is determined solely by the scores in each team's win, since a draw does not affect goals-difference. If one team had a greater winning margin, they are placed second, otherwise the teams remain tied.

g. greater goals-for

The teams remain tied.

h. higher number of goals scored away from home in the group stage

This is a simple counting. The team who scored more goals during their away game(s) is placed second. A team with no away games cannot be placed second under this condition. A team with two away games cannot be placed third under this condition.

Otherwise, if the number of away goals is the same, the teams remain tied.

i. higher number of wins

Both teams have one win and one draw. The teams remain tied.

j. higher number of away wins

The team who won away is placed over the team who won at home, if this happened.

If both won at home or both won away, the teams remain tied.

k. lower disciplinary points

This criteria is based on the number of yellow and red cards received by a team. A red (including for second caution) is worth three points and a yellow is worth one point. The team with the fewest points is placed second.

If the teams have the same number of points (but not necessarily the same number of each type of card) they remain tied.

l. higher club coefficient

These are determined by formula listed in Annex D of the regulations. Section D.7 gives the final tiebreaker method:

  • coefficient from most recent season rankings are based on

  • coefficient from next-most recent season rankings are based on

  • drawing of lots

which is eventually guaranteed to break the tie.

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