Arsenal’s knockout round clash with Benfica is proving far from straightforward, but both teams are working toward maintaining the two-legged format.
As of a week ago, reports emerged about Arsenal’s stage against Benfica turning into a one-match, winner-take-all affair. There were issues with Arsenal traveling to Portugal due to pandemic travel restrictions, but the onus was put on Benfica to find a qualified venue.
News broke broke today, initially by Mais Futbol, suggesting that both teams were looking to complete the stage with two-legs and stadia in France, Spain, or Italy were the preferred destination.
Shortly after this a tweet surfaced that suggested BOTH legs would be played in a neutral location — Rome. This would likely mean that away goals are not a tie-breaking decider, unless each game is determined to still have a “home” and “away” side, but that would feel odd.
It’s unclear if both legs will take place in a neutral venue to maintain continuity or if Arsenal will maintain their match at the Emirates.
There has been no communication from official Arsenal communications on the matter but one would assume that would be coming sometime in the next week with the first match scheduled for 18 February.