With the penultimate round of fixtures complete, here's a look at the best Champions League XI.
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Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Lloris' save from Kamil Glik was outstanding and surely the best of this round of fixtures -- and perhaps up there in Champions League history. The Frenchman certainly has a compelling claim, such was the sheer velocity at which the Monaco defender volleyed the ball towards him from a matter of yards. Lloris had already contributed notably to keeping Tottenham's interest in the tie alive, saving Radamel Falcao's penalty, and if any of Mauricio Pochettino's players deserve to remain in the Champions League this season it is surely their outstanding goalkeeper and captain.
Right-back: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco)
It was not a bad matchday for right-backs -- Benfica's Nelson Semedo deserves a mention for his thunderous strike against Besiktas -- but Sidibe takes the spot in this week's team after what turned out to be a decisive performance in the 2-1 win against Tottenham. He opened the scoring with a far-post header from a cross by left-back Benjamin Mendy and then, with Tottenham having switched off after Harry Kane's equaliser, he provided the delivery from which Thomas Lemar drilled in the winner.
Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Juventus' 3-1 win at Sevilla was one of the week's most eye-catching results and it owed plenty of their outstanding centre-back. Bonucci helped keep the home side from scoring more than once in a high-quality first half and then won the penalty that turned the match on its head just before the interval. He then rattled in a low, left-footed strike in the 84th minute to give Juventus the lead for the first time, crowning a superb evening's work.
Centre-back: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid were subdued for long periods in their 2-1 win at Sporting and there was to be no explosive return for Cristiano Ronaldo. There was, though, a decent defensive display and key contribution from Varane, who scored from close range in the first half and proved that the European champions have players all over the pitch who can step up and make a difference when required.
Left-back: Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)
Fuchs was at his rampaging best for Leicester, surging over the halfway line early on after a Club Brugge attack had broken down and bending in the superb ball from which Shinji Okazaki put the Foxes ahead. Another assist for Okazaki almost resulted in a second goal and although he was slightly at fault for Jose Izquierdo's consolation, the most important work had already been done at the other end.
Central midfielder: Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain)
PSG looked more like their old selves in Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Arsenal and the same went for their veteran midfielder, who underpinned a performance in which they were largely the better side. Motta had a hand in Edinson Cavani's goal, freeing Blaise Matuidi to centre for the Uruguayan, and was efficient in possession throughout -- also producing some timely challenges. He helped PSG into pole position for the Group A lead.
Central midfielder: Christian Noboa (Rostov)
Rostov's 3-2 win over Bayern Munich was perhaps the biggest shock so far in a group stage short of genuine surprises. It was clinched when Noboa, the Ecuadorian midfielder, sent a fine free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner midway through the second half, meaning the Russian side need only a point against PSV Eindhoven next time out to be sure of Europa League football after Christmas.
Right forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
At times it seemed as if Messi was on a different pitch during Barcelona's 2-0 win at Celtic, playing by his own rules. His first goal was set up superbly by Neymar and his second was a spot-kick after Luis Suarez was fouled. Neither strike was breathtaking but his overall performance, in which he helped carve out several more chances for the visitors, was imperious.
Attacking midfielder: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
What a return to action it was for Reus, who had been forced to sit out the entirety of Borussia Dortmund's season due to injury but started making up for lost time in his comeback against Legia Warsaw. In what at times resembled a basketball match, the one certainty was Reus' touch of quality. He scored twice in the barely believable 8-4 win and thought he had a hat trick, only to be denied by UEFA's decision to deem the third strike a Jakub Rzezniczak own goal. No matter -- Dortmund have missed Reus, and Europe's big guns should beware.
Left forward: Sardar Azmoun (Rostov)
He has been called the "Iranian Messi" and perhaps the reasons are a little bit clearer now. The stage for Rostov's victory was set by Azmoun's superb first half equaliser. He twisted inside Jerome Boateng, leaving arguably the world's best central defender floundering on the turf, and slotted coolly past Sven Ulreich. Azmoun is just 21 and has been linked with a move to Liverpool; this was certainly the goal that announced his ability to perform on the biggest stage.
Centre-forward: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester)
How important Okazaki is to Leicester. He is not the most prolific of strikers but his work rate typifies the spirit that took them to the Premier League title and he was the driving force behind a first half performance against Club Brugge that effectively earned them top spot in Group G. Okazaki crowned it with the crucial opener, running on to Fuchs' cross to finish superbly, and ensured that Leicester's Champions League adventure gathers pace.