6 of the Best Games From the Group Stages of This Season's Champions League

The excitement of Europe's premier club competition returns this week, with the round of 16 stage finally upon us. 

December's draw threw up some tasty encounters us fans can't wait to get our teeth into, with the likes of Real Madrid & PSG, Chelsea & Barcelona and Juventus & Spurs all going head-to-head in midweek.

While we look ahead in anticipation, this stage of the UEFA Champions League campaign also offers an opportunity to look back at the season's most thrilling encounters to this point:

6. Porto 5-2 Monaco

This group G clash at the Estadio do Dragao seemingly had it all. Seven goals, two red cards and a penalty to boot.

A Vincent Aboubakar brace sent the hosts on their way in the first-half before a violent altercation between Porto's Felipe and Monaco's Rachid Ghezzal saw both receive instant dismissals.

The action didn't stop in the second-half, as the 10 men of both sides produced further goals including a nicely-taken headed finish from former Manchester United and Chelsea forward Radamel Falcao.

5. Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 Celtic

Celtic had already succumbed to a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of PSG by the time they travelled to the Parc de Princes in November.

Brendan Rodgers' men could hardly have believed their luck, therefore, when Moussa Dembélé opened the scoring inside the opening minute. Unfortunately for the Hoops, that was as good as it got as Neymar and co. proceeded to turn on the style.

A brace from both the world's most expensive player and Edinson Cavani coupled with strikes from Kylian Mbappé, Marco Verratti and Dani Alves inflicted one of Celtic's heaviest European defeats in their history.

4. Real Madrid 3-2 Borussia Dortmund

These two European heavyweights locked horns at the Bernabéu in December, knowing their chances of topping group H had already faltered at the hands of Tottenham.

Nevertheless, an enthralling encounter pursued, with now-Arsenal man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagging a brace - including an expertly-taken chipped finish to equalise - which cancelled out two early strikes from Los Blancos duo Borja Mayoral and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It wasn't to be for the Die Schwarzgelben however, as a late Lucas Vásquez effort secured the victory for the reigning champions who ultimately finished the group in second place. 

3. Napoli 2-4 Manchester City

Manchester City had to come from behind to secure a memorable victory over a high-flying Napoli side at Stadio San Paolo in November. 

A Nicolas Otamendi header cancelled out an earlier strike from Napoli's diminutive playmaker Lorenzo Insigne, before further efforts from John Stones and Jorginho put the tie on a knife-edge.

Then came the landmark moment. Sergio Aguero's tidy finish past Pepe Reina for 3-2 was the Argentinian's 178th strike for the Citizens - surpassing Eric Brook's total of 177 - becoming the club's all-time leading goalscorer to add to the glamour of an already famous night in an eventual 4-2 win.

2. Sevilla 3-3 Liverpool

November's group E encounter at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium exposed both the devastating attacking brilliance of Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool as well as the inevitable defencive frailties.

The Reds were seemingly out of sight at half-time having blown their hosts away with a quick-fire Roberto Firmino brace sandwiching a finely-taken Sadio Mané header.

Two goals from Wissam Ben Yedder before the hour-mark but Liverpool on edge, before the Reds' backline eventually caved in deep into stoppage time as Guido Pizzaro capped a famous Sevilla comeback.

1. Chelsea 3-3 Roma

Two former Manchester City men came back to haunt Chelsea in October during this six-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

A fine edge-of-the-box curling effort from David Luiz set Chelsea on their way early on before Eden Hazard doubled the advantage. An expertly-taken solo effort from Aleksandar Kolarov halved Roma's deficit before the interval. 

Edin Džeko had then bagged twice before the 65th minute to turn the game on its head, before Hazard completed a brace of his own to restore parity and conclude this topsy-turvy group stage meeting which exemplified exactly why we love the UEFA Champions League.