Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick after missing two penalties as Manchester City thumped Steaua Bucharest 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday.
With Joe Hart watching from the bench, the striker saw a spot-kick saved and blazed another over the bar either side of David Silva’s 13th-minute opener.
However, Aguero made amends for his earlier misses opportunities by scoring just before the half-time break and then completed his hattrick in the second half after Nolito had netted his first City goal at the National Arena.
The visiting side could have won by a greater margin but still look assured of a place in the group stage even before the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
Whether Hart is still at City for the return leg remains to be seen, having been left on the bench by manager Pep Guardiola in favour of Willy Cabellero.
City only made two changes from their side that defeated Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday as Pablo Zabaleta and Nicolas Otamendi come in for Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy.
Steaua who threatened first as Nicolae Stanciu fired wide of goal from 25 yards out with Cabellero rooted to the spot.
However, the visitors started to create a flow of chances and the first chance came from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the penalty area, however, Aguero saw his spot-kick saved by Steaua goalkeeper Florin Nita.
City continued to look lethal in attack and took the lead in the 13th minute when Sterling slid the ball across the box for David Silva, who blazed the ball past the Steaua shot-stopper.
Aguero had a chance to redeem himself for his earlier miss when Pablo Zabaleta was fouled for another penalty, however, this time, the Argentine forward blazed his effort over the bar.
A rare Steaua attack saw City goalkeeper Caballero denying Steaua midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun before Aleksandar Kolarov and Sterling hit the bar in quick succession.
Sterling then set up Aguero to fire home from the edge of the box in the 41st minute, meanwhile Spanish forward Nolito added a third shortly after the half-time break, having been picked out by Kevin De Bruyne’s pin-point pass.
Both City forwards Nolito and Aguero came close to extending their lead as City continued to dominate possession.
Steaua struggled to create any chances in attack in the second half and Aguero made it 4-0 in the 79th minute when he finished into the corner.
The Steaua goalkeeper did well to keep out an effort from Nolito, however City scored a fifth as Aguero completed his hattrick in the final minute of the match.
Image: Uefa website