Champions League

Aguero hat-trick fires City to Steaua rout

2016-08-17 08:58
Sergio Aguero (Getty Images)

Paris - Sergio Aguero brushed off two missed penalties to score a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Steaua Bucharest 5-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Romania.

The result means that new City coach Pep Guardiola can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Abu Dhabi-backed club have one foot in the lucrative group stage.

David Silva fired City into a 13th-minute lead either side of two failed spot-kicks from Aguero, before the Argentine atoned with the visitors' second goal just prior to half-time.

New signing Nolito then scored his first City goal early in the second half with Aguero netting twice more as Guardiola's side seized complete control ahead of the return leg in Manchester in eight days' time.

"We are almost in the Champions League. That was our target," Guardiola told BT Sport.

"It was a great performance, great attitudes. The result is amazing; I am so satisfied with the way we played - a big compliment to these fantastic players."

England goalkeeper Joe Hart was again left on the bench by Guardiola, with Nicolas Otamendi and Pablo Zabaleta drafted into the City defence as last year's Champions League semi-finalists embarked on their latest European adventure.

Raheem Sterling won an early penalty for City, just as he did in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League victory at home to Sunderland, when he was clattered by Muniru Sulley inside the area.

But Aguero saw his spot-kick turned away by Steaua keeper Florin Nita, with Nolito firing the rebound against the crossbar.

City though capitalised on more sloppy defending from the home side shortly after as Sterling stole the ball from Alin Tosca, the winger squaring for Silva to drill beyond a helpless Nita.

Gabriel Enache handed Aguero another chance from the penalty spot with just 20 minutes gone when he crudely upended Aleksandar Kolarov, but this time the Argentine blazed well over.

AGUERO REDEMPTION

However, the striker redeemed himself with a superbly placed finish four minutes before the break after Sterling had cushioned the ball into his path on the edge of the area.

Guardiola spoke of his desire to play a brand of football that will captivate the club's supporters, and the Spaniard will have been delighted with his side's performance as they showed Steaua no mercy in the second half.

Nolito, played through by Kevin de Bruyne, rounded Nita to add City's third and open his account for his new club after arriving from Celta Vigo in the summer.

Aguero rounded off a flowing move of one-two passes with an arrowed low strike into the corner on 78 minutes, and he completed his hat-trick a minute from time after racing clear of the Steaua defence.

Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach won 3-1 away to Young Boys of Switzerland, while four-time European champions Ajax were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Russian outfit Rostov.

Dinamo Zagreb drew 1-1 with Salzburg while FC Copenhagen secured a narrow 1-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia in Denmark.

On Wednesday, Scottish champions Celtic host Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel in Glasgow, while twice former winners Porto are at home to Roma and Monaco visit Villarreal.

Dundalk continue their improbable bid to become the first League of Ireland club to reach the Champions League group stage when they take on Legia Warsaw in Dublin.

Read more on:    manchester city  |  soccer
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27 September 2016
CSKA Moscow v Tottenham Hotspur, Arena CSKA 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Legia Warsaw, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Leicester City v FC Porto, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus, Maksimir 20:45
FC København v Club Brugge, Parken Stadion 20:45
Sevilla v Lyon, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
28 September 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona, Borussia-Park 20:45
Celtic v Manchester City, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v FC Basel, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v PSV, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Napoli v Benfica, San Paolo 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Paris Saint-Germain, Vasil Levski National Stadium 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Bayern München, Vicente Calderon 20:45
Besiktas v Dynamo Kyiv, Vodafone Arena 20:45
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena CSKA 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
01 November 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
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