Proven by Research: The Chances of Liverpool Advancing to the Quarter-Finals Are... 100%!

When Champions League first-leg knockout ties come around, before, during and after the match there is always discussion about which result is a good one for the home or away teams, and the infamous away goals rule is bound to be invoked. These discussions are always based on the old twins intuition and experience, rather than statistics. It is hence no surprise that I recently heard contradictory views on whether a 0-0 away is a good or a bad result.

So, why not crunch the numbers? The data are from all two-legged Champions League knockout fixtures. The first column gives you the fist-leg result from the perspective of the home team, the second column gives the percentage of times that the team which was at home in the first leg won the overall fixture, and the third column gives the number of observations.

0-3 0%    n=2
0-2 0% n=3
2-3 0% n=1
1-2 0% n=3
0-1 9.1% n=11
4-4 0% n=1
3-3 0% n=1
2-2 20% n=5
1-1 37.5% n=16
0-0 29.4% n=17
3-2 0% n=4
2-1 30% n=10
1-0 58.3% n=12
4-2 50% n=2
3-1 83.3% n=6
2-0 100% n=11
5-2 100% n=1
4-1 100% n=2
3-0 100% n=1
4-0 100% n=1

Of course, the number of observations is small in many cases, so I wouldn't use this to argue that, say, 5-2 is just as good a result as 4-0, but I will say that 0-0 away is a good result. Take that, Michael.

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