The group stage was first introduced into the competition in the 1994/95 season. Over the course of the following 20 seasons there were 160 groups. On 51 occasions there was a clear group winner decided prior to the final game. On 12 of these occasions the group winner had actually been confirmed after four rounds of games. How did these teams perform in the last round of games?
Taking the 51 times that a group winner had been determined before the last round of games, the group winner had obtained an average of 2.45 points per game. In the last round of games, these group winners obtained an average of 1.47 points per game. Prior to being confirmed as group winners the teams in question won 81% of their games and lost 3% of their games. In the last round of games the win percentage collapsed to 43% and the loss percentage jumped to 38%. Incentives mater.