Before this season, the away goals rule was—depending on who you asked—either a much-loved or unnecessarily confusing peculiarity of two-legged knockout ties in European football, with a goal scored on the road worth double for tie-breaking purposes at the end of 180 minutes.
The intent was to encourage teams to attack on the road; to push for a goal that might make a difference even in defeat. This season, in an effort to simplify matters for fans, UEFA did away with it. Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp says that won’t change his approach.
“I can’t remember a game when we went somewhere and thought a goal would be great,” the manager noted at his pre-match press conference. “So we go there to get a result, whatever that means. I don’t know what would be a good result in the moment.
“Winning would be great, maybe a draw we have to take. We will see. First and foremost, we have to play the game. But I liked the rule. For longer in my life I watched the Champions League than be part of it and I liked the rule. I don’t know exactly why they scrapped it but it’s gone and we deal with it.”
They will deal with it by doing what Liverpool always try to do under Klopp: to try to win the game. Which seems the obvious thing, but already in the Round of 16 has seen one game—Real Madrid’s trip to Paris on Tuesday—where it appeared the set up seeking a nil-nil draw.
That sort of approach, though, isn’t for Klopp. Liverpool might end the end their night having to settle for a draw against Inter Milan. Or they might, in the worst case scenario, be defeated by what the manager calls Italy’s top side. But they will set up seeking goals and victory.
“I think it’s not a massive impact on the way we play because we don’t go there to simply get through the game,” Klopp added. “We always try to play our best game, to be honest, and to win it, even if that’s really difficult.”