Serie A has announced a significant change to the rules of the league when two teams finish the season with the same points .
Beginning from next season, the Italian league championship will be decided by a playoff if the top two teams finish with the same number of points. The Italian soccer organization announced the regulation modification after receiving consent from the Serie A clubs.
Before the new rule, the head to head record was used to decide the title winner when two teams finished with the same points and it almost happened last season.
AC Milan finished two points ahead of Inter Milan with a victory at Sassuolo on the final day of last season to win the title. They also had a stronger head-to-head record than their city opponent, therefore even if they drew the game, they would have won the championship. But this new play-off decider rule will change how things work next season.
Has Serie A used a play-off decider before?
On this day in 1964, we were crowned champions of Italy for the seventh time! 🔙🏆#WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/DYTr6qZdNU— Bologna FC 1909 (@BolognaFC1909en) June 7, 2021
The Italian Serie A has only used the play-off decider at the end of the season once. Bologna won the trophy In 1964, after defeating Inter 2-0 in Rome on an even playing field and since then they stopped using the rule.
The only major European league currently using a play-off tie-breaker to determine the final standings is Serie A. Currently, other leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, and Bundesliga trophies are given to the team with the best goal difference if two teams finish with the same points at the end of a season.
How will the play-off decider work?
The top two teams will play one more match and if there’s no winner after 90 minutes then the match will go straight into penalties without extra time. The Scudetto will only be decided using this format and league standings lower in the table will still be determined by head-to-head record.
Who won the last Serie A title?
AC Milan won the Scudetto in 2021–22 with a victory over Sassuolo on the final day of the competition and ended two points ahead of the then reigning champions, Inter Milan. Even if the game had finished in a draw, Milan would have won the championship due to their superior head-to-head record over Inter.