2020–21 UEFA Champions League

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2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Porto Estádio do Dragão 2.jpg
The Estádio do Dragão in Porto hosted the final
Tournament details
DatesQualifying:
8 August 2020 – 30 September 2020
Competition proper:
20 October 2020 – 29 May 2021
TeamsCompetition proper: 32
Total: 79 (from 54 associations)
Final positions
ChampionsEngland Chelsea (2nd title)
Runners-upEngland Manchester City
Tournament statistics
Matches played125
Goals scored366 (2.93 per match)
Attendance180,049 (1,440 per match)
Top scorer(s)Norway Erling Haaland
(10 goals)
Best player(s)
(Note: All statistics do not include qualifying play-offs)

The 2020–21 UEFA Champions League was the 66th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 29th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea defeated Manchester City 1–0 in the final, which was played at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal. The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, was originally appointed to host the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final, but it was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe to the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.[5] Istanbul was again appointed to host the final of the 2021 edition, but was eventually moved to Estádio do Dragão after Turkey was placed on the United Kingdom's red list for tourists and hosting it in England was ruled out.[6]

Bayern Munich were the defending champions, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Paris Saint-Germain, whom they had beaten in the previous year's final. As the winners of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League, Chelsea played against Villarreal, the winners of the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League, in the 2021 UEFA Super Cup. They will also be the European entry for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup. Since they had already qualified to the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League group stage through their league performance, the berth originally reserved for the Champions League title holders has been transferred to the Champions of the 2020–21 Süper Lig, Beşiktaş, the 11th ranked association according to the next season access-list.

The 2020–21 season was the last season of UEFA European competitions to feature the away goals rule.[7]

Association team allocation[edit]

A total of 79 teams from 54 of the 55 UEFA member associations participate in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League (the exception being Liechtenstein, which does not organise a domestic league). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:[8]

  • Associations 1–4 each have four teams qualify.
  • Associations 5–6 each have three teams qualify.
  • Associations 7–15 each have two teams qualify.
  • Associations 16–55 (except Liechtenstein) each have one team qualify.
  • The winners of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and 2019–20 UEFA Europa League are each given an additional entry if they do not qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League through their domestic leagues. However, the Champions League and Europa League title holders have qualified through their domestic leagues, meaning the two additional entries are not necessary for this season.

Association ranking[edit]

For the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2019 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2014–15 to 2018–19.[9]

Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Champions League, as noted below:

  • (UCL) – Additional berth for UEFA Champions League title holders
  • (UEL) – Additional berth for UEFA Europa League title holders
Association ranking for 2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
1  Spain 103.569 4
2  England 85.462
3  Italy 74.725
4  Germany 71.927
5  France 58.498 3
6  Russia 50.549
7  Portugal 48.232 2
8  Belgium 39.900
9  Ukraine 38.900
10  Turkey 34.600
11  Netherlands 32.433
12  Austria 31.250
13  Czech Republic 28.675
14  Greece 27.600
15  Croatia 27.375
16  Denmark 27.025 1
17   Switzerland 26.900
18  Cyprus 24.925
19  Serbia 22.250
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
20  Scotland 22.125 1
21  Belarus 21.875
22  Sweden 20.900
23  Norway 20.200
24  Kazakhstan 19.250
25  Poland 19.250
26  Azerbaijan 19.000
27  Israel 18.625
28  Bulgaria 17.500
29  Romania 15.950
30  Slovakia 15.625
31  Slovenia 15.000
32  Liechtenstein 13.500 0
33  Hungary 10.500 1
34  North Macedonia 8.000
35  Moldova 7.750
36  Albania 7.500
37  Republic of Ireland 7.450
38  Finland 7.275
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
39  Iceland 7.250 1
40  Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.125
41  Lithuania 6.750
42  Latvia 5.625
43  Luxembourg 5.500
44  Armenia 5.250
45  Malta 5.125
46  Estonia 5.000
47  Georgia 4.750
48  Wales 4.125
49  Montenegro 4.125
50  Faroe Islands 4.000
51  Gibraltar 4.000
52  Northern Ireland 3.875
53  Kosovo 2.500
54  Andorra 1.831
55  San Marino 0.666

Distribution[edit]

The following is the access list for this season.[10]

Access list for 2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round
Preliminary round
(4 teams)
  • 4 champions from associations 52–55
First qualifying round
(34 teams)
  • 33 champions from associations 18–51 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 1 winner from preliminary round
Second qualifying round Champions Path
(20 teams)
  • 3 champions from associations 15–17
  • 17 winners from first qualifying round
League Path
(6 teams)
  • 6 runners-up from associations 10–15
Third qualifying round Champions Path
(10 teams)
  • 10 winners from second qualifying round (Champions Path)
League Path
(6 teams)
  • 3 runners-up from associations 7–9
  • 3 winners from second qualifying round (League Path)
Play-off round Champions Path
(8 teams)
  • 3 champions from associations 12–14
  • 5 winners from third qualifying round (Champions Path)
League Path
(4 teams)
  • 1 third-placed team from association 6
  • 3 winners from third qualifying round (League Path)
Group stage
(32 teams)
  • 11 champions from associations 1–11
  • 6 runners-up from associations 1–6
  • 5 third-placed teams from associations 1–5
  • 4 fourth-placed teams from associations 1–4
  • 4 winners from play-off round (Champions Path)
  • 2 winners from play-off round (League Path)
Knockout phase
(16 teams)
  • 8 group winners from group stage
  • 8 group runners-up from group stage

Changes were made to the default access list since the Champions League title holders, Bayern Munich, and the Europa League title holders, Sevilla, which were guaranteed berths in the Champions League group stage, already qualified for the Champions League group stage via their domestic leagues. However, as a result of schedule delays to both the 2019–20 and 2020–21 European seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020–21 European season started before the conclusion of the 2019–20 European season. Therefore, the changes to the access list that should be made based on the Champions League and Europa League title holders could not be certain until matches of the earlier qualifying rounds had been played and/or their draws had been made. UEFA used "adaptive re-balancing" to change the access list once the berths for the Champions League and Europa League title holders were determined, and rounds which had already been drawn or played by the time the title holders were determined would not be impacted (Regulations Article 3.04).[8] The following changes were made:

  • At the time when the draws for the first qualifying round and second qualifying round (Champions Path) were held on 9 and 10 August 2020, it was not certain whether the Champions League title holder berth would be vacated as one of the eight quarter-finalists of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League, Lyon, did not qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic league. Therefore, these draws proceeded as normal per the default access list, and the matches drawn, which were played on 18–19 and 25–26 August 2020, were not changed even though after the semi-finals of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League, which were played on 18–19 August 2020, it was confirmed both finalists, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, already qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic leagues, meaning the Champions League title holder berth would be vacated. As a result, "adaptive re-balancing" started from the third qualifying round (Champions Path), whose draw was held on 31 August 2020, and the following changes to the access list were made:
    • The champions of association 11 (Netherlands), Ajax, entered the group stage instead of the play-off round (Champions Path).
    • The champions of associations 13 and 14 (Czech Republic and Greece), Slavia Prague and Olympiacos, entered the play-off round (Champions Path) instead of the third qualifying round (Champions Path).
  • At the time when the draw for the second qualifying round (League Path) was held on 10 August 2020, it was not certain whether the Europa League title holder berth would be vacated as four of the quarter-finalists of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bayer Leverkusen, Copenhagen and Basel, did not qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic leagues. Therefore, this draw proceeded as normal per the default access list, and the matches drawn, which were played on 25–26 August 2020, were not changed even though after the quarter-finals of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League, which were played on 10–11 August 2020, it was confirmed all four semi-finalists, Sevilla, Manchester United, Internazionale and Shakhtar Donetsk, already qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic leagues, meaning the Europa League title holder berth would be vacated. As a result, "adaptive re-balancing" started from the third qualifying round (League Path), whose draw was held on 31 August 2020, and the following changes to the access list were made:
    • The third-placed team of association 5 (France), Rennes, entered the group stage instead of the third qualifying round (League Path).
    • The third-placed team of association 6 (Russia), Krasnodar, entered the play-off round (League Path) instead of the third qualifying round (League Path).

Teams[edit]

In early April 2020, UEFA announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the deadline for entering the tournament had been postponed until further notice.[11] UEFA also sent a letter to all member associations that domestic leagues must be completed in full without ending prematurely in order to qualify for European competitions.[12] After meeting with the 55 UEFA associations on 21 April 2020, UEFA strongly recommended them to finish domestic top league and cup competitions, although in some special cases where it is not possible, UEFA would develop guidelines concerning participation in its club competitions in case of a cancelled league or cup.[13][14] After the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 23 April 2020, UEFA announced that if a domestic competition is prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with conditions related to public health or economic problems, the national associations concerned are required to select their participating teams for the 2020–21 UEFA club competitions based on sporting merit in the 2019–20 domestic competitions, and UEFA reserves the right to refuse their admission if UEFA deems the termination of the competitions not legitimate, or the selection procedure not objective, transparent and non-discriminatory, or the team is perceived by the public as qualifying unfairly. A suspended domestic competition may also be restarted with a different format from the original one in a manner which would still facilitate qualification on sporting merit.[15][16] All leagues should communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 whether they intend to restart their competitions,[17] but this deadline was later extended. On 17 June 2020, UEFA announced that associations must enter their teams by 3 August 2020.[5]

The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round:

  • TH: Champions League title holders
  • EL: Europa League title holders
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.: League positions of the previous season
  • Abd-: League positions of abandoned season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe as determined by the national association; all teams are subject to approval by UEFA as per the guidelines for entry to European competitions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18]

The second qualifying round, third qualifying round and play-off round are divided into Champions Path (CH) and League Path (LP).

Qualified teams for 2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Entry round Teams
GS Germany Bayern Munich (1st)TH Spain Sevilla (4th)EL Spain Real Madrid (1st) Spain Barcelona (2nd)
Spain Atlético Madrid (3rd) England Liverpool (1st) England Manchester City (2nd)[Note ENG] England Manchester United (3rd)
England Chelsea (4th) Italy Juventus (1st) Italy Inter Milan (2nd) Italy Atalanta (3rd)
Italy Lazio (4th) Germany Borussia Dortmund (2nd) Germany RB Leipzig (3rd) Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach (4th)
France Paris Saint-Germain (Abd-1st)[Note FRA] France Marseille (Abd-2nd)[Note FRA] France Rennes (Abd-3rd)[Note FRA] Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg (1st)
Russia Lokomotiv Moscow (2nd) Portugal Porto (1st) Belgium Club Brugge (Abd-1st)[Note BEL] Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk (1st)
Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir (1st) Netherlands Ajax (Abd-1st)[Note NED]
PO CH Austria Red Bull Salzburg (1st) Czech Republic Slavia Prague (1st) Greece Olympiacos (1st)
LP Russia Krasnodar (3rd)
Q3 LP Portugal Benfica (2nd) Belgium Gent (Abd-2nd)[Note BEL] Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv (2nd)
Q2 CH Croatia Dinamo Zagreb (1st) Denmark Midtjylland (1st) Switzerland Young Boys (1st)
LP Turkey Beşiktaş (3rd)[Note TUR] Netherlands AZ (Abd-2nd)[Note NED] Austria Rapid Wien (2nd) Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň (2nd)
Greece PAOK (2nd) Croatia Lokomotiva (2nd)
Q1 Cyprus Omonia (Abd-1st)[Note CYP] Serbia Red Star Belgrade (1st) Scotland Celtic (Abd-1st)[Note SCO] Belarus Dynamo Brest (1st)
Sweden Djurgårdens IF (1st) Norway Molde (1st) Kazakhstan Astana (1st) Poland Legia Warsaw (1st)
Azerbaijan Qarabağ (Abd-1st)[Note AZE] Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv (1st) Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad (1st) Romania CFR Cluj (1st)
Slovakia Slovan Bratislava (1st) Slovenia Celje (1st) Hungary Ferencváros (1st) North Macedonia Sileks (Abd-2nd)[Note MKD]
Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol (1st) Albania Tirana (1st) Republic of Ireland Dundalk (1st) Finland KuPS (1st)
Iceland KR (1st) Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo (Abd-1st)[Note BIH] Lithuania Sūduva (1st) Latvia Riga (1st)
Luxembourg Fola Esch (Abd-1st)[Note LUX] Armenia Ararat-Armenia (1st) Malta Floriana (Abd-1st)[Note MLT] Estonia Flora (1st)
Georgia (country) Dinamo Tbilisi (1st) Wales Connah's Quay Nomads (Abd-1st)[Note WAL] Montenegro Budućnost Podgorica (Abd-1st)[Note MNE] Faroe Islands (1st)
Gibraltar Europa (Abd-1st)[Note GIB]
PR Northern Ireland Linfield (Abd-1st)[Note NIR] Kosovo Drita (1st) Andorra Inter Club d'Escaldes (1st) San Marino Tre Fiori (Abd-1st)[Note SMR]

Notes

  1. ^
    Azerbaijan (AZE): The 2019–20 Azerbaijan Premier League was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Qarabağ (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, entering the first qualifying round.[19]
  2. ^
    Belgium (BEL): The 2019–20 Belgian First Division A was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium. The top two teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Club Brugge (who were declared champions) and Gent, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Royal Belgian Football Association, entering the group stage and third qualifying round respectively.[20]
  3. ^
    Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH): The 2019–20 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Sarajevo (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, entering the first qualifying round.[21]
  4. ^
    Cyprus (CYP): The 2019–20 Cypriot First Division was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Omonia, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Cyprus Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[22]
  5. ^
    England (ENG): Manchester City, the second-placed team of the 2019–20 Premier League, qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage, but were banned from all UEFA club competitions for the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body on 14 February 2020 due to alleged breaches of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.[23] However, Manchester City appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[24] and on 13 July 2020, it was announced that the ban on them participating in UEFA club competitions was overturned and they can play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League.[25]
  6. ^
    France (FRA): The 2019–20 Ligue 1 was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France. The top three teams of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, Paris Saint-Germain (who were declared champions), Marseille and Rennes, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the French Football Federation, entering the group stage.[26]
  7. ^
    Gibraltar (GIB): The 2019–20 Gibraltar National League was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Gibraltar. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Europa, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Gibraltar Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[27]
  8. ^
    Luxembourg (LUX): The 2019–20 Luxembourg National Division was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Fola Esch, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Luxembourg Football Federation, entering the first qualifying round.[28]
  9. ^
    Malta (MLT): The 2019–20 Maltese Premier League was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Floriana (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Malta Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[29]
  10. ^
    Montenegro (MNE): The 2019–20 Montenegrin First League was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Budućnost Podgorica (who were already assured of the title by then and were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Football Association of Montenegro, entering the first qualifying round.[30]
  11. ^
    Netherlands (NED): The 2019–20 Eredivisie was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. The top two teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Ajax and AZ, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Royal Dutch Football Association, entering the group stage and second qualifying round respectively.[31]
  12. ^
    North Macedonia (MKD): The 2019–20 Macedonian First Football League was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North Macedonia. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Vardar (who were declared champions), failed to obtain a UEFA licence, and as a result, the second-placed team, Sileks, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Football Federation of North Macedonia, entering the first qualifying round.[32]
  13. ^
    Northern Ireland (NIR): The 2019–20 NIFL Premiership was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Ireland. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonement, Linfield (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Irish Football Association, entering the preliminary round.[33]
  14. ^
    San Marino (SMR): The 2019–20 Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in San Marino. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment, Tre Fiori (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the San Marino Football Federation, entering the preliminary round.[34]
  15. ^
    Scotland (SCO): The 2019–20 Scottish Premiership was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, Celtic (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Scottish Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[35]
  16. ^
    Turkey (TUR): Trabzonspor, the second-placed team of the 2019–20 Süper Lig, would have qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but were banned from all UEFA club competitions for the 2020–21 season by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body on 3 June 2020 due to breaches of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.[36] Trabzonspor appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[37] but on 30 July 2020, it was announced that the ban on them participating in UEFA club competitions was upheld.[38] As a result, Beşiktaş, the third-placed team, qualified for this berth.
  17. ^
    Wales (WAL): The 2019–20 Cymru Premier was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales. The top team of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, Connah's Quay Nomads (who were declared champions), were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by the Football Association of Wales, entering the first qualifying round.[39]

Schedule[edit]

The schedule of the competition was as follows (all draws were held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland unless otherwise stated).[40] The tournament would originally have started in June 2020, but had been delayed to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.[41] The new schedule was announced by the UEFA Executive Committee on 17 June 2020.[42] All qualifying matches, excluding the play-off round, were played as single leg matches, hosted by one of the teams decided by draw (except the preliminary round which was played at neutral venue).[5][43]

The group stage draw was originally to be held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece, but UEFA announced on 9 September 2020 that it would be relocated to Nyon,[44] but it was eventually held at nearby Geneva.

Schedule for 2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying Preliminary round 17 July 2020 8 August 2020 (semi-final round) 11 August 2020 (final round)
First qualifying round 9 August 2020 18–19 August 2020
Second qualifying round 10 August 2020 25–26 August 2020
Third qualifying round 31 August 2020 15–16 September 2020
Play-off Play-off round 1 September 2020 22–23 September 2020 29–30 September 2020
Group stage Matchday 1 1 October 2020
(Geneva)
20–21 October 2020
Matchday 2 27–28 October 2020
Matchday 3 3–4 November 2020
Matchday 4 24–25 November 2020
Matchday 5 1–2 December 2020
Matchday 6 8–9 December 2020
Knockout phase Round of 16 14 December 2020 16–17 & 23–24 February 2021 9–10 & 16–17 March 2021
Quarter-finals 19 March 2021 6–7 April 2021 13–14 April 2021
Semi-finals 27–28 April 2021 4–5 May 2021
Final 29 May 2021 at Estádio do Dragão, Porto

The original schedule of the competition, as planned before the pandemic, was as follows (all draws were to be held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).

Original schedule for 2020–21 UEFA Champions League
Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying Preliminary round 9 June 2020 23 June 2020 (semi-final round) 26 June 2020 (final round)
First qualifying round 16 June 2020 7–8 July 2020 14–15 July 2020
Second qualifying round 17 June 2020 21–22 July 2020 28–29 July 2020
Third qualifying round 20 July 2020 4–5 August 2020 11 August 2020
Play-off Play-off round 3 August 2020 18–19 August 2020 25–26 August 2020
Group stage Matchday 1 27 August 2020
(Monaco)
15–16 September 2020
Matchday 2 29–30 September 2020
Matchday 3 20–21 October 2020
Matchday 4 3–4 November 2020
Matchday 5 24–25 November 2020
Matchday 6 8–9 December 2020
Knockout phase Round of 16 14 December 2020 16–17 & 23–24 February 2021 9–10 & 16–17 March 2021
Quarter-finals 19 March 2021 6–7 April 2021 13–14 April 2021
Semi-finals 27–28 April 2021 4–5 May 2021
Final 29 May 2021 at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

Krasnodar players on Matchday 2 group stage with limited capacity in the stands.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the following special rules were applicable to the competition:[45][46]

  • If there were travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented the away team from entering the home team's country or returning to their own country, the match could be played at a neutral country or the away team's country that allowed the match to take place.
  • If a team refused to play or was considered responsible for a match not taking place, they were considered to have forfeited the match. If both teams refused to play or were considered responsible for a match not taking place, both teams were disqualified.
  • If a team had players and/or officials tested positive for SARS-2 coronavirus preventing them from playing the match before the deadline set by UEFA, they were considered to have forfeited the match.

On 24 September 2020, UEFA announced that five substitutions would be permitted from the group stage onward, with a sixth allowed in extra time. However, each team was only given three opportunities to make substitutions during matches, with a fourth opportunity in extra time, excluding substitutions made at half-time, before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time. Consequently, a maximum of twelve players could be listed on the substitute bench.[47]

All qualifying matches were played behind closed doors.[43] Following the partial return of fans at the 2020 UEFA Super Cup, UEFA announced on 1 October 2020 that matches from the group stage onward could be played at 30% capacity if allowed by the local authorities.[48]

The final was originally scheduled to be played at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia. However, due to the postponement and relocation of the 2020 final to Lisbon as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the final hosts were shifted back a year, with the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey instead planning to host the 2021 final.[49] However, on 13 May 2021 UEFA announced that the final would be relocated to Porto in order to allow fans to attend the match.[6]

Preliminary round[edit]

The draw for the preliminary round was held on 17 July 2020, 12:00 CEST.[50] The semi-finals were played on 8 August at the Colovray Stadium in Nyon, Switzerland.[51] The final was due to be played at the same venue on 11 August but the match was cancelled due to Drita players being put into quarantine after two players had tested positive for SARS-2 coronavirus, and Linfield were awarded a technical 3–0 win.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Semi-final round
Tre Fiori San Marino 0–2 Northern Ireland Linfield
Drita Kosovo 2–1 Andorra Inter Club d'Escaldes
Team 1  Score  Team 2
Final round
Drita Kosovo 0–3
(awd.)[note 1]
Northern Ireland Linfield

The losers of both semi-final and final rounds entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.

Qualifying rounds[edit]

First qualifying round[edit]

The draw for the first qualifying round was held on 9 August 2020, 12:00 CEST.[56] The matches were played on 18 and 19 August 2020. The match between KÍ and Slovan Bratislava was cancelled due to Slovan Bratislava players being put into quarantine after one player had tested positive for SARS-2 coronavirus, and KÍ were awarded a technical 3–0 win.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Ferencváros Hungary 2–0 Sweden Djurgårdens IF
Celtic Scotland 6–0 Iceland KR
Legia Warsaw Poland 1–0 Northern Ireland Linfield
Sheriff Tiraspol Moldova 2–0 Luxembourg Fola Esch
Connah's Quay Nomads Wales 0–2 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
Red Star Belgrade Serbia 5–0 Gibraltar Europa
Budućnost Podgorica Montenegro 1–3 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
Ararat-Armenia Armenia 0–1 (a.e.t.) Cyprus Omonia
Floriana Malta 0–2 Romania CFR Cluj
Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel 2–0 Latvia Riga
Qarabağ Azerbaijan 4–0 North Macedonia Sileks
Dinamo Tbilisi Georgia (country) 0–2 Albania Tirana
Dynamo Brest Belarus 6–3 Kazakhstan Astana
Molde Norway 5–0 Finland KuPS
Flora Estonia 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(2–4 p)
Lithuania Sūduva
Celje Slovenia 3–0 Republic of Ireland Dundalk
Faroe Islands 3–0
(awd.)[note 2]
Slovakia Slovan Bratislava

The losers entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.

Second qualifying round[edit]

The draw for the second qualifying round was held on 10 August 2020, 12:00 CEST.[62] The matches were played on 25 and 26 August 2020.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Champions Path
CFR Cluj Romania 2–2 (a.e.t.)
(5–6 p)
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
Young Boys Switzerland 3–1 Faroe Islands
Celtic Scotland 1–2 Hungary Ferencváros
Sūduva Lithuania 0–3 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
Legia Warsaw Poland 0–2 (a.e.t.) Cyprus Omonia
Celje Slovenia 1–2 Norway Molde
Ludogorets Razgrad Bulgaria 0–1 Denmark Midtjylland
Dynamo Brest Belarus 2–1 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
Qarabağ Azerbaijan 2–1 Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol
Tirana Albania 0–1 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
Team 1  Score  Team 2
League Path
AZ Netherlands 3–1 (a.e.t.) Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň
PAOK Greece 3–1 Turkey Beşiktaş
Lokomotiva Croatia 0–1 Austria Rapid Wien

From the ten losers of Champions Path, two teams, Tirana and Ludogorets Razgrad, determined by a draw held on 31 August 2020 after the Europa League second qualifying round draw,[63] entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League play-off round (Champions Path), while the other eight teams entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (Champions Path). The losers of League Path entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (Main Path).

Third qualifying round[edit]

The draw for the third qualifying round was held on 31 August 2020, 12:00 CEST.[64] The matches were played on 15 and 16 September 2020.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Champions Path
Ferencváros Hungary 2–1 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
Qarabağ Azerbaijan 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(5–6 p)
Norway Molde
Omonia Cyprus 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(4–2 p)
Serbia Red Star Belgrade
Midtjylland Denmark 3–0 Switzerland Young Boys
Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel 1–0 Belarus Dynamo Brest
Team 1  Score  Team 2
League Path
PAOK Greece 2–1 Portugal Benfica
Dynamo Kyiv Ukraine 2–0 Netherlands AZ
Gent Belgium 2–1 Austria Rapid Wien

The losers of Champions Path entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League play-off round (Champions Path). The losers of League Path entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Play-off round[edit]

The draw for the play-off round was held on 1 September 2020, 12:00 CEST.[65] The first legs were played on 22 and 23 September, and the second legs were played on 29 and 30 September 2020.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Champions Path
Slavia Prague Czech Republic 1–4 Denmark Midtjylland 0–0 1–4
Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel 2–5 Austria Red Bull Salzburg 1–2 1–3
Olympiacos Greece 2–0 Cyprus Omonia 2–0 0–0
Molde Norway 3–3 (a) Hungary Ferencváros 3–3 0–0
Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
League Path
Krasnodar Russia 4–2 Greece PAOK 2–1 2–1
Gent Belgium 1–5 Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 1–2 0–3

The losers of both Champions Path and League Path entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Group stage[edit]

Location of teams of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Brown pog.svg Brown: Group A; Red pog.svg Red: Group B; Orange pog.svg Orange: Group C; Yellow pog.svg Yellow: Group D;
Green pog.svg Green: Group E; Blue pog.svg Blue: Group F; Purple pog.svg Purple: Group G; Pink pog.svg Pink: Group H.

A total of 32 teams played in the group stage, from fifteen countries: 26 teams which entered in this stage, and the six winners of the play-off round (four from Champions Path, two from League Path).

The draw for the group stage was held on 1 October 2020, 17:00 CEST, at the RTS Studios in Geneva, Switzerland.[66] The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams were seeded into four pots based on the following principles (introduced starting 2015–16 season):[67][68]

  • Pot 1 contained the Champions League and Europa League title holders, and the champions of the top six associations based on their 2019 UEFA country coefficients.[9] As the Champions League title holder, Bayern Munich, were also their national champions, the champions of the association ranked seventh, Porto, was also seeded in pot 1.
  • Pot 2, 3 and 4 contained the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[69]

In each group, teams played against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advanced to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams entered the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League round of 32. The matchdays were 20–21 October, 27–28 October, 3–4 November, 24–25 November, 1–2 December and 8–9 December 2020.

The youth teams of the clubs that qualified for the group stage were also set to participate in the 2020–21 UEFA Youth League, along with the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations, in a single-leg knockout tournament. However, that tournament was later cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[70]

İstanbul Başakşehir, Krasnodar, Midtjylland and Rennes made their debut appearances in the group stage. With İstanbul Başakşehir's appearance in the group stage, Istanbul became the first city to be represented in the group stage by four different teams (having been previously represented by Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray). This season became the first in the history of the Champions League in which three Russian clubs played in the group stage.[71]

Group A[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification BAY ATM SAL LMO
1 Germany Bayern Munich 6 5 1 0 18 5 +13 16 Advance to knockout phase 4–0 3–1 2–0
2 Spain Atlético Madrid 6 2 3 1 7 8 −1 9 1–1 3–2 0–0
3 Austria Red Bull Salzburg 6 1 1 4 10 17 −7 4 Transfer to Europa League 2–6 0–2 2–2
4 Russia Lokomotiv Moscow 6 0 3 3 5 10 −5 3 1–2 1–1 1–3
Source: UEFA

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification RMA BMG SHK INT
1 Spain Real Madrid 6 3 1 2 11 9 +2 10 Advance to knockout phase 2–0 2–3 3–2
2 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 6 2 2 2 16 9 +7 8[a] 2–2 4–0 2–3
3 Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 6 2 2 2 5 12 −7 8[a] Transfer to Europa League 2–0 0–6 0–0
4 Italy Inter Milan 6 1 3 2 7 9 −2 6 0–2 2–2 0–0
Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head points: Borussia Mönchengladbach 6, Shakhtar Donetsk 0.

Group C[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification MCI POR OLY MAR
1 England Manchester City 6 5 1 0 13 1 +12 16 Advance to knockout phase 3–1 3–0 3–0
2 Portugal Porto 6 4 1 1 10 3 +7 13 0–0 2–0 3–0
3 Greece Olympiacos 6 1 0 5 2 10 −8 3[a] Transfer to Europa League 0–1 0–2 1–0
4 France Marseille 6 1 0 5 2 13 −11 3[a] 0–3 0–2 2–1
Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Tied on head-to-head points (3). Head-to-head away goals: Olympiacos 1, Marseille 0.

Group D[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification LIV ATA AJX MID
1 England Liverpool 6 4 1 1 10 3 +7 13 Advance to knockout phase 0–2 1–0 2–0
2 Italy Atalanta 6 3 2 1 10 8 +2 11 0–5 2–2 1–1
3 Netherlands Ajax 6 2 1 3 7 7 0 7 Transfer to Europa League 0–1 0–1 3–1
4 Denmark Midtjylland 6 0 2 4 4 13 −9 2 1–1 0–4 1–2
Source: UEFA

Group E[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification CHE SEV KRA REN
1 England Chelsea 6 4 2 0 14 2 +12 14 Advance to knockout phase 0–0 1–1 3–0
2 Spain Sevilla 6 4 1 1 9 8 +1 13 0–4 3–2 1–0
3 Russia Krasnodar 6 1 2 3 6 11 −5 5 Transfer to Europa League 0–4 1–2 1–0
4 France Rennes 6 0 1 5 3 11 −8 1 1–2 1–3 1–1
Source: UEFA

Group F[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification DOR LAZ BRU ZEN
1 Germany Borussia Dortmund 6 4 1 1 12 5 +7 13 Advance to knockout phase 1–1 3–0 2–0
2 Italy Lazio 6 2 4 0 11 7 +4 10 3–1 2–2 3–1
3 Belgium Club Brugge 6 2 2 2 8 10 −2 8 Transfer to Europa League 0–3 1–1 3–0
4 Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg 6 0 1 5 4 13 −9 1 1–2 1–1 1–2
Source: UEFA

Group G[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification JUV BAR DKV FER
1 Italy Juventus 6 5 0 1 14 4 +10 15[a] Advance to knockout phase 0–2 3–0 2–1
2 Spain Barcelona 6 5 0 1 16 5 +11 15[a] 0–3 2–1 5–1
3 Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 6 1 1 4 4 13 −9 4 Transfer to Europa League 0–2 0–4 1–0
4 Hungary Ferencváros 6 0 1 5 5 17 −12 1 1–4 0–3 2–2
Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Tied on head-to-head points (3). Head-to-head goal difference: Juventus +1, Barcelona –1.

Group H[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification PAR RBL MUN IBFK
1 France Paris Saint-Germain 6 4 0 2 13 6 +7 12[a] Advance to knockout phase 1–0 1–2 5–1
2 Germany RB Leipzig 6 4 0 2 11 12 −1 12[a] 2–1 3–2 2–0
3 England Manchester United 6 3 0 3 15 10 +5 9 Transfer to Europa League 1–3 5–0 4–1
4 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir 6 1 0 5 7 18 −11 3 0–2 3–4 2–1
Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Tied on head-to-head points (3). Head-to-head away goals: Paris Saint-Germain 1, RB Leipzig 0.

Knockout phase[edit]

In the knockout phase, teams played against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final. The mechanism of the draws for each round was as follows:

  • In the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners were seeded, and the eight group runners-up were unseeded. The seeded teams were drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association could not be drawn against each other.
  • In the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, there were no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association could be drawn against each other. As the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals were held together before the quarter-finals were played, the identity of the quarter-final winners was not known at the time of the semi-final draw. A draw was also held to determine which semi-final winner was designated as the "home" team for the final (for administrative purposes as it was played at a neutral venue).

Bracket[edit]

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final (29 May – Porto)
                  
Italy Lazio 1 1 2
Germany Bayern Munich 4 2 6
Germany Bayern Munich 2 1 3
France Paris Saint-Germain (a) 3 0 3
Spain Barcelona 1 1 2
France Paris Saint-Germain 4 1 5
France Paris Saint-Germain 1 0 1
England Manchester City 2 2 4
Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 0 0
England Manchester City 2 2 4
England Manchester City 2 2 4
Germany Borussia Dortmund 1 1 2
Spain Sevilla 2 2 4
Germany Borussia Dortmund 3 2 5
England Manchester City 0
England Chelsea 1
Italy Atalanta 0 1 1
Spain Real Madrid 1 3 4
Spain Real Madrid 3 0 3
England Liverpool 1 0 1
Germany RB Leipzig 0 0 0
England Liverpool 2 2 4
Spain Real Madrid 1 0 1
England Chelsea 1 2 3
Portugal Porto (a.e.t.; a) 2 2 4
Italy Juventus 1 3 4
Portugal Porto 0 1 1
England Chelsea 2 0 2
Spain Atlético Madrid 0 0 0
England Chelsea 1 2 3

Round of 16[edit]

The draw for the round of 16 was held on 14 December 2020, 12:00 CET.[72] The first legs were played on 16, 17, 23 and 24 February, and the second legs were played on 9, 10, 16 and 17 March 2021.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Borussia Mönchengladbach Germany 0–4 England Manchester City 0–2 0–2
Lazio Italy 2–6 Germany Bayern Munich 1–4 1–2
Atlético Madrid Spain 0–3 England Chelsea 0–1 0–2
RB Leipzig Germany 0–4 England Liverpool 0–2 0–2
Porto Portugal 4–4 (a) Italy Juventus 2–1 2–3 (a.e.t.)
Barcelona Spain 2–5 France Paris Saint-Germain 1–4 1–1
Sevilla Spain 4–5 Germany Borussia Dortmund 2–3 2–2
Atalanta Italy 1–4 Spain Real Madrid 0–1 1–3

Quarter-finals[edit]

The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 19 March 2021, 12:00 CET.[73] The first legs were played on 6 and 7 April, and the second legs were played on 13 and 14 April 2021.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Manchester City England 4–2 Germany Borussia Dortmund 2–1 2–1
Porto Portugal 1–2 England Chelsea 0–2 1–0
Bayern Munich Germany 3–3 (a) France Paris Saint-Germain 2–3 1–0
Real Madrid Spain 3–1 England Liverpool 3–1 0–0

Semi-finals[edit]

The draw for the semi-finals was held on 19 March 2021, 12:00 CET, after the quarter-final draw.[73] The first legs were played on 27 and 28 April, and the second legs were played on 4 and 5 May 2021.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Paris Saint-Germain France 1–4 England Manchester City 1–2 0–2
Real Madrid Spain 1–3 England Chelsea 1–1 0–2

Final[edit]

The final was played on 29 May 2021 at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto. A draw was held on 19 March 2021, after the quarter-final and semi-final draws, to determine the "home" team for administrative purposes.[73]

Manchester City England0–1England Chelsea
Report

Statistics[edit]

Statistics exclude qualifying rounds and play-off round.

Top goalscorers[edit]

Rank[75] Player Team Goals Minutes played
1 Norway Erling Haaland Germany Borussia Dortmund 10 705
2 France Kylian Mbappé France Paris Saint-Germain 8 900
3 France Olivier Giroud England Chelsea 6 257
Morocco Youssef En-Nesyri Spain Sevilla 386
England Marcus Rashford England Manchester United 416
Spain Álvaro Morata Italy Juventus 597
Brazil Neymar France Paris Saint-Germain 746
Egypt Mohamed Salah England Liverpool 781
France Karim Benzema Spain Real Madrid 842
10 Italy Ciro Immobile Italy Lazio 5 417
Poland Robert Lewandowski Germany Bayern Munich 514
Argentina Lionel Messi Spain Barcelona 540
France Alassane Pléa Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
Portugal Sérgio Oliveira Portugal Porto 740

Top assists[edit]

Rank[76] Player Team Assists Minutes played
1 Colombia Juan Cuadrado Italy Juventus 6 551
2 Germany Joshua Kimmich Germany Bayern Munich 4 617
Belgium Kevin De Bruyne England Manchester City 669
Argentina Ángel Di María France Paris Saint-Germain 697
5 England Jadon Sancho Germany Borussia Dortmund 3 386
France Alassane Pléa Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 540
Serbia Dušan Tadić Netherlands Ajax
France Kingsley Coman Germany Bayern Munich 549
Spain Angeliño Germany RB Leipzig 627
Germany Thomas Müller Germany Bayern Munich 632
Brazil Neymar France Paris Saint-Germain 746
Germany Kai Havertz England Chelsea 788
France Kylian Mbappé France Paris Saint-Germain 900
Croatia Luka Modrić Spain Real Madrid 911
England Phil Foden England Manchester City 1066

Squad of the season[edit]

The UEFA technical study group selected the following 23 players as the squad of the tournament.[77]

Pos. Player Team
GK Belgium Thibaut Courtois Spain Real Madrid
Brazil Ederson England Manchester City
Senegal Édouard Mendy England Chelsea
DF Spain César Azpilicueta England Chelsea
Portugal Rúben Dias England Manchester City
Brazil Marquinhos France Paris Saint-Germain
Germany Antonio Rüdiger England Chelsea
England Ben Chilwell England Chelsea
Austria David Alaba Germany Bayern Munich
MF Italy Jorginho England Chelsea
England Mason Mount England Chelsea
France N'Golo Kanté England Chelsea
Belgium Kevin De Bruyne England Manchester City
Germany İlkay Gündoğan England Manchester City
Croatia Luka Modrić Spain Real Madrid
Portugal Sérgio Oliveira Portugal Porto
England Phil Foden England Manchester City
FW Norway Erling Haaland Germany Borussia Dortmund
France Kylian Mbappé France Paris Saint-Germain
Poland Robert Lewandowski Germany Bayern Munich
France Karim Benzema Spain Real Madrid
Brazil Neymar France Paris Saint-Germain
Argentina Lionel Messi Spain Barcelona

Players of the season[edit]

Votes were cast for players of the season by coaches of the 32 teams in the group stage, together with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams. Jury members selected their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. The shortlist of the top three players was announced on 13 August 2021.[78] The award winners were announced and presented during the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Turkey on 26 August 2021.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Drita v Linfield match, originally scheduled to be played on 11 August 2020, could not be played due to two players from Drita testing positive for SARS-2 coronavirus and the whole team being put into quarantine by the Swiss authorities.[52][53] Linfield were subsequently awarded a technical 3–0 victory by UEFA according to the regulations related to COVID-19.[54][55]
  2. ^ The KÍ v Slovan Bratislava match, originally scheduled to be played on 19 August 2020, was postponed to 21 August 2020 due to one staff member from Slovan Bratislava testing positive for SARS-2 coronavirus and the whole team being put into quarantine by the Faroese authorities.[57] On 21 August, the match could not be played due to one player from Slovan Bratislava testing positive for SARS-2 coronavirus and the whole second team being put into quarantine by the Faroese authorities.[58][59] KÍ were subsequently awarded a technical 3–0 victory by UEFA according to the regulations related to COVID-19.[60][61]

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External links[edit]