Champions League group stage perfection

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have both fallen short in their bids to end the UEFA Champions League group stage with maximum points; UEFA.com profiles the perfectionists.

Marco van Basten scoring all four as they beat IFK Göteborg 4-0 on opening night. Single-goal wins followed away to PSV Eindhoven, away and home against Porto and at IFK, before PSV were beaten 2-0 at San Siro as Milan reached the final. There Fabio Capello's men came up short, losing 1-0 to Marseille in Munich. That remains the closest a side with a perfect group record have come to winning the UEFA Champions League.

Paris Saint-Germain (1994/95)
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Luis Fernandez's Paris did not look back after George Weah and Daniel Bravo registered in a 2-0 matchday one success against Bayern München, 2-1 victories away to both Spartak Moskva and Dynamo Kyiv putting them in control of their section. Weah then struck the only goal at home to Dynamo and away to Bayern, and added two more as Spartak were thrashed 4-1 in the concluding fixture. They then battled on to the last four, losing 3-0 on aggregate to AC Milan.

Spartak Moskva (1995/96)
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Spartak started with a pair of narrow wins, 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers and 2-1 at Legia Warszawa, before hitting their stride against Rosenborg on matchdays three and four, rallying from two down at half-time to win 4-2 in Trondheim before a 4-1 home success. Further wins against Blackburn (3-0) and Legia (1-0) saw Spartak build up a record 11-point winning margin, but that was as good as it got, Nantes eliminating Oleg Romantsev's side in the quarter-finals.

Barcelona's golden boys of 2002/03
Barcelona's golden boys of 2002/03©Getty Images

Barcelona (2002/03)
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A 3-2 triumph at home to Club Brugge on 18 September 2002 under Louis van Gaal set Barcelona off on a sequence of nine straight victories, a UEFA Champions League record until Bayern achieved a new mark in 2013/14. The run took in home and away wins against Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moskva, plus another slender success against Club Brugge, as Barça finished 11 points clear in their pool, equalling CSKA's record – which was then matched by Madrid in 2014/15. They then made it through the second group stage, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Juventus.

Real Madrid (2011/12)
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José Mourinho's men kicked off with a 1-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb and were unstoppable thereafter, brushing aside Ajax 3-0 and Lyon 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu. A 2-0 triumph in Lyon followed before Dinamo became the first – and only – opponent to breach Madrid's defence in the group; unfortunately, by then the Croatians were 6-0 down. A 3-0 stroll at Ajax completed the perfect set of six for Madrid, who would ultimately bow out to Bayern on penalties in the semis.

Madrid had a perfect record in the 2014/15 group stage
Madrid had a perfect record in the 2014/15 group stage©AFP/Getty Images

Real Madrid (2014/15)
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European champions for the tenth time in 2014
, Carlo Ancelotti's side picked up where they had left off when they launched their title defence, inflicting a 5-1 defeat on Basel, and completed a second group stage clean sweep with a 4-0 thrashing of Ludogorets – the 19th in a 22-game streak of victories in all competitions. While their record-equalling run of ten UEFA Champions League wins ended with a 4-3 home loss to Schalke in the last 16 second leg, Madrid battled on to the last four, where they were outmuscled by Juventus.

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