SI Staff
Tuesday August 16th, 2016

Sergio Aguero is typically a rock from the penalty spot for Manchester City, even scoring from there in the club's Premier League season opener against Sunderland, but he displayed a rocky approach from 12 yards out in the club's Champions League qualifying playoff first leg against Steaua Bucharest. Then he made up for it from the run of play.

Aguero missed two penalties in the opening 21 minutes of the match, wasting a pair of opportunities to put City in complete control, but he scored a hat trick later on and helped put Man City on course for a place in the group stage with a 5-0 win. 

Aguero's first miss came in the eighth minute, as goalkeeper Nita came up with the save only to have David Silva put the rebound off the bar: 

His second one wasn't even close, as he fired it well over the bar, much to the dismay of Pep Guardiola:

Man City still raced out to a 1-0 lead, with Silva scoring–and making up for his miss–and giving the English side a key away goal in the 19th minute:

Aguero then atoned with a goal from the run of play, placing a low ball from just inside the box inside the far post to make it 2-0:

Man City piled on in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne setting up Nolito for his first goal since joining the club from Celta Vigo and one that made it 3-0:

Aguero scored his second in the 78th minute, capping an excellent passing sequence with another low shot to the far post, making it 4-0:

He completed his hat trick in the 88th minute capping his eventful day in impressive fashion and giving City a commanding 5-0 lead:

Manchester City will host the second leg next week, hoping to finish off the series win and return to the group stage after its best run ever last season, when it reached the semifinals. It fell to eventual champion Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate.

Elsewhere in first-leg qualifiers, Borussia Monchengladbach took a decisive 3-1 win at Swiss club Young Boys; Ajax was held to a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam by Russian underdog Rostov; Copenhagen held off APOEL at home for a 1-0 victory; and Dinamo Zagreb and Salzburg played to a 1-1 draw.

Five more first legs are slated for Wednesday, and the 10 qualifying series will yield the final teams to be included in the group-stage draw.

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