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Barcelona Could Have Advanced in the UEFA Champions League Without Scoring

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The importance of the legendary Barcelona striker Own Goal

FC Barcelona v Sporting CP - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona could have advanced out of their UEFA Champions League group without scoring, had all other things remained the same. This is, of course, a hypothetical, but it’s fun to think about because it underlines two things: (1) Barça were extremely solid defensively and (2) Barcelona benefitted from a lot of own goals.

In a Reddit post, _BigT_ put forth the hypothetical table:

Fixtures without Barcelona players scoring.

FCB vs JUV T 0-0

FCB at SCP W 1-0

FCB vs OLY T 1-1

FCB at OLY T 0-0

FCB at JUV T 0-0

FCB vs SCP W 1-0

New table

1. JUV 12

2. FCB 10

3. SCP 7

4. OLY 2

Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Juventus would become a 0-0, but their 1-0 win over Sporting thanks to an own goal would have been intact. Their 3-1 victory over Olympiacos would become a 1-1 draw, thanks to an own goal. The 0-0 draws with Olympiacos and Juventus would remain. And their 2-0 triumph over Sporting in the last matchday would still be a win, albeit by a margin of 1-0, thanks to an own goal.

With 10 points, Barça would advance despite never actually scoring a goal. Of course, the results wouldn’t play the same way had these changes happen, so this is pure conjecture.

Still, it’s really funny to think about.