The important rule change to remember for Celtic vs Midtjylland

By David Walton

July 20, 2021

Celtic vs Midtjylland tonight represents a fresh foray into Europe with new boss Ange Postecoglou, but that’s not the only change from recent campaigns.

The Hoops have a big task on the agenda tonight. Overcoming Midtjylland won’t be straightforward, even if Bo Henriksen is missing his top striker Sory Kaba this evening.

Many may be expecting Midtjylland to sit back and try to soak up the pressure whilst looking to hit Celtic on the counter attack. After all, keeping things tight and bagging an away goal is all that matters when you travel, right?

Well, not from now on. The nature of two-legged ties in European competition has changed dramatically. From now on, there is no such thing as the away goal rule.

In the past, the away goal rule was a way to decide who won two-legged ties when the aggregate score finished level. Those who scored the more away from home would end up going through.

Celtic vs Midtjylland won’t involve the away goal rule

The idea was understandable. It’s been in football for years and it looked like a decent way to get sides to open up. But more often than not it encouraged sides to try and be cautious when at home so that the away goal isn’t lost.

UEFA confirmed back in June that the rule was being abolished. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin stated that the rule was actively dissuading teams from coming out and attacking the opposition in fear of losing a goal.

Celtic have always been expansive at Celtic Park in European ties. However, the away goal rule has been a thorn in our side over the years and has changed our approach to certain matches. The same goes for pretty much every side in Europe of course.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Hopefully, the new rule will encourage both sides to play some open and expansive football to try and get an advantage. Celtic can play with a freedom tonight knowing that a 2-1, 3-2, or 4-3 win isn’t as worrying as it once was with the away goal rule in place.

Of course, it could also be counter-productive should away teams decide to play backs-to-the-wall football in order to avoid a deficit. With the away goal rule scrapped, there’s an argument there that it will also dissuade the away teams from attacking.

We’ll see how things play out tonight. However, if Midtjylland want to play a defensive game and look to cause us minimal threat, I certainly won’t be complaining!

In other news: Confirmed: Midtjylland’s top striker Sory Kaba won’t play against Celtic tonight