We select six classics from the group stage. See our picks and have your say.
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The 2023/24 UEFA Women's Champions League group stage produced its share of upsets and dramatic comebacks.
UEFA.com picks out six games that had us thrilled. Vote for your favourite.
15/11/2023, Group C Matchday 1
Ajax, having become the first Dutch team to reach the group stage, were rank outsiders in a section containing three of last season's quarter-finalists: Bayern, Paris and Roma. But in front of the first of three big crowds at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Ajax led 2-0 at the break and closed out the game, starting their path to nine home points which proved the key to booking a spot in the quarter-finals.
Paris had begun well only for Tiny Hoekstra to pounce on a blocked shot after 34 minutes and strike from a tight angle to open the scoring. Then, just before half-time, Sherida Spitse converted a penalty following a foul on Ashleigh Weerden. Captain Spitse told UEFA.com: "I think they were more nervous than us, because we were supposedly the underdogs.”
Must-see moment: Spitse wheeling away after doubling the lead.
21/12/2023, Group A Matchday 4
Once Barcelona had beaten both of these teams – who in turn had defeated Rosengård – the Matchday 3 and 4 contests between Frankfurt and Benfica always looked likely to decide a quarter-final place.
Four-time champions Frankfurt had the pedigree but Benfica – in the group stage for the third year out of three – have now become familiar diners at Europe's top table, and it was no big surprise when they beat the German side 1-0 at home.
A week later, Frankfurt needed victory and Géraldine Reuteler put them ahead on 28 minutes, coming close to adding another before the break. Frankfurt continued to have the better of the play in the second half but, with 19 minutes to go, Benfica substitute Nycole Raysla turned in Kika Nazareth's cross.
Frankfurt seemed to be handed a lifeline in added time when Carlotta Wamser earned a penalty, yet Benfica's German goalkeeper Lena Pauels denied Laura Freigang to earn a point which ultimately decided second place.
Must-see moment: Pauels saving the penalty, diving on the rebound, then being mobbed by jubilant Benfica players.
21/12/2023, Group B Matchday 4
Brann, the only team in the group stage never previously to make the last 16 in any format, made a flying start by beating St. Pölten and Slavia Praha. And although they lost 3-1 at Lyon, the Norwegian side, and especially their teenager midfielder Signe Gaupset, impressed.
Still, Lyon were favourites to win in Bergen the following week (as they had in every other game they had played thus far in 2023/24), a result which would seal first place with two games to go. Ominously, with just 13 minutes gone, the eight-time champions led 2-0 through Amel Majri and an Ada Hegerberg penalty.
However, a Justine Kielland finish from the edge of the box pulled one back before half-time and, with Lyon losing Lindsey Horan to a 52nd-minute dismissal, Brann sensed an opportunity as the snow began to fall. It seemed time would run out but, in the dying moments, Gaupset smashed in a loose ball from a corner to spark wild celebrations. Brann were to follow Lyon through.
Must-see moment: Gaupset pouncing for the equaliser, making Brann the first team to avoid defeat from two goals down in any game against Olympique Lyonnais since they took over FC Lyon in 2004.
24/01/2024, Group C Matchday 5
Roma had began the group stage in fine style, coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Bayern then beating Ajax to go top. But two losses to Paris Saint-Germain sent them tumbling from first to fourth, a point behind third-placed Bayern, albeit with neither team out of sight of the top two.
They both needed a good result in Rome on Matchday 5, and Valentina Giacinti put the home side in front on 33 minutes. That's how it remained until the 87th minute, when Lea Schüller headed Bayern level.
With each side pushing for an important victory, it seemed Roma had done enough when Manuela Giugliano popped up with a half-volley in the box to make it 2-1. However, there was still time for Schüller to head another equaliser and create another twist in a group which had already had plenty – and would have more to come.
Must-see moment: The contrasting emotions of the desperate scramble that was added time.
30/01/2024, Group C Matchday 6
Some groups had first and second place sewn up before Matchday 6, but in Group C everything remained up for grabs for the four contenders. In Munich, Bayern knew nothing less than victory would do, while Paris were aware a point would seal qualification and almost certainly first place.
Ajax, who started second behind Paris, were simultaneously taking on Roma in Amsterdam, where the visitors were the first team to score on the night. With that, they briefly grabbed hold of a provisional quarter-final slot, until Giulia Gwinn's long-range header moved Bayern into first place.
Ajax equalised against Roma before half-time but still trailed Bayern and Paris as it stood. Paris then levelled through Tabitha Chawinga's run and sliding finish on 73 minutes, though Sydney Lohmann soon made it 2-1 to Bayern to change the picture once again.
Paris were provisionally second, until Ajax took the lead against Roma. Now, Paris needed to score and, with two minutes to go, Bayern's Georgia Stanway diverted the ball into her own net. Suddenly, Paris had jumped from third to first, with Bayern dropping out of the top two.
When Jovana Damnjanović's added-time effort was cancelled out by an offside flag, Bayern were out – their run of five straight quarter-finals halted, while Paris were through to their sixth in a row, ending top after a group stage campaign that had begun with two straight defeats.
Must-see moment: The contrasting emotions after the late equaliser sealed one of three dramatic 2-2 draws that defined Bayern's frustrating bid.
31/01/2024, Group A Matchday 6
Group A, by contrast, was already settled, with Barcelona secure in first place and Benfica also through in second. But they still managed an extraordinary match in which Barcelona went 2-0 up before Marie Alidou struck twice to wipe out Benfica's deficit even before half-time.
Caroline Graham Hansen notched her second of the game to restore Barça's advantage, but Jéssica Silva's superb leveller was followed with nine minutes to go by Lucy Bronze scoring an own goal. Unlike her England colleague Stanway the previous night, however, Bronze was able to make amends, heading an equaliser deep in added time.
Still, Benfica had ended Barcelona's hopes of completing only the third perfect group campaign (having already been responsible for one of the other two). And it was some achievement given that the Catalan giants had won all 22 of their games previous games in 2023/24, conceding only four goals in the process.
Must-see moment: Benfica goalkeeper Lena Pauels repelling wave after wave of Barcelona attacks at 4-3, even if she was eventually beaten one last time.