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In the Group A of the UEFA Europa League 2020/21, AS Roma is already qualified, but my question is WHY? Look at the table after 4 played rounds:

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AS Roma has now 10 points. When AS Roma loses the other two games versus BSC Young Boys and CSKA-Sofia, Roma remains on this 10 points. If BSC Young Boys as mentioned above wins agains AS Roma and loss the last game versus CRF Cluj, BSC Young Boys remains also on 10 points. Now, if CRF Cluj wins both games (versus CSKA-Sofia and versus BSC Young Boys, mentioned above), then they also have 10 points.

So three teams (AS Roma, BSC Young Boys and CRF Cluj) have 10 points, but why is AS Roma already qualified of the round of 32 after 4 rounds?

It can't be because of the good goal difference of AS Roma, because that can change in the last two games (many goals against and the other teams score a lot of goals).

Does it depends on the direct duels?

Then AS Roma won both games against CRF Cluj.

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CSKA-Sofia can reach a maximum of 7 points, they cannot qualify in the hypothetical situation given. Changing it so they did would require Young Boys or CFR Cluj to miss points, so AS Roma is still assured of qualifying.

If the remaining teams all reach exactly ten points, tiebreakers effectively remove all matches involving CSKA-Sofia from the table, then recalculate the standings.

This leaves the following table, under the assumption that all further games are won by scores of 1-0 (this does not change the overall result, but simplifies the goals for/against/difference calculation).

  1. CS Roma, 9 points, +9 -3 = +6

  2. Young Boys, 4 points, +3 -4 = -1

  3. CFR Cluj, 4 points, +3 -8 = -5

Thus, even in the worst case where Roma loses their remaining games and the other teams get the best possible outcomes, AS Roma is qualified first in the group.

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  • In the event of a tie, only the games among the teams with the same number of points are counted and the points are deducted from the other teams that have more or fewer points. So the direct duels in the event of a tie count as I suspected. – SwissCodeMen Dec 3 '20 at 20:57
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    No, it is not the direct duels, except in the trivial case of only two teams being tied. It is the overall results among all tied teams. Team X could lose both games to Team Y, but Team X may still qualify first while Team Y is knocked out. – Nij Dec 3 '20 at 21:37

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