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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Aguero hat-trick has Man City in play-off control

Manchester City defeated Steaua Bucharest 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Tuesday night.

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola's men all but booked their place in the group stage proper of Europe's elite club competition for season 2016/17.

In a game of as many missed chances as taken ones, City could have almost hit a cricket score against the Romanians at the Arena National in the country's capital.

David Silva kicked things off in the 13th minute when he fired home a Raheem Sterling pass after Aguero, minutes earlier, saw his penalty saved by Florin Nita when Sterling had been brought down in the area.

In the 21st minute, Argentine ace Aguero missed again from 12 yards, blazing over the bar after Pablo Zabaleta had been fouled.

However, the City striker atoned for his earlier misses by adding a second for his side late in the opening half when rifling beyond Nita from the edge of the box having been set up by Sterling.

Summer signing Nolito made it 3-0 early in the second half when Kevin De Bruyne picked him out, Aguero grabbed his second on 78 minutes when finding the corner and then completed his treble late to send City into the return leg with a massive five-goal advantage.

Steaua will travel to the Etihad Stadium on August 24 to have their European fate confirmed for the new campaign.


Champions League - play-off first leg

Steaua Bucharest (ROM): 0
Manchester City (ENG): 5 (David Silva 13', Sergio Aguero 41'/78'/89', Nolito 49')
Arena National, Bucharest, Romania - 45,327

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Andrew Slevison
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