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Explained: How PSG somehow finished second to Benfica in Champions League Group H

01:46 GMT+3 03/11/2022
Christophe Galtier Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain 2022-23
Paris Saint-Germain were pushed into second in Champions League Group H as a little-known rule sent Benfica top at the death.
  • PSG were initially leading on goal difference
  • Managed to beat Juventus
  • Still wasn't enough

WHAT HAPPENED? The French outfit looked all but certain to qualify from Group H in first place but were pipped to the post by Benfica. While PSG beat Juve 2-1 on the night, their Portuguese rivals overcame Maccabi Haifa 6-1 away from home, adding vital goals to their tally in the 88th and 92nd minutes.

This massive victory meant that both teams ended level on 14 points, sharing a goal difference of +9, having both won four games, drawn two and lost none. And they drew those two matches with one another (1-1 on both occasions), meaning their head-to-head was level too.

With everything so tight, the group positions were ultimately decided by goals scored away from home, as per the official UEFA ruling. PSG had managed six, but after their huge win in Israel, Benfica had racked up nine, so the latter qualified first in the most incredible circumstances.


Despite their star-studded squad, PSG could now face an uphill battle to win that elusive Champions League crown.