MANCHESTER City boss Pep Guardiola declared it mission accomplished after his side hammered Romanian outfit Steaua Bucharest to all but seal their passage to the Champions League group stages.
Prolific striker Sergio Aguero netted his eighth hat-trick for last season’s semi-finalists, although not before he had missed two penalties, while playmaker David Silva and Nolito also scored.
“We are almost in the Champions League, that was our target from the beginning,” said Guardiola.
“It was a great performance. We played really good. The result is amazing but the way we played, I am so satisfied, and big compliments to these fantastic players. We are there.”
City wasted a glorious chance to take an eighth-minute lead as Aguero’s spot-kick was repelled by Steaua goalkeeper Florin Nita, while Nolito’s stabbed follow-up struck the top of the crossbar.
That setback failed to derail City as Silva lashed home five minutes later, yet Aguero astonishingly missed a second penalty when he blazed high over Nita’s goal.
He made amends shortly before half time as he fired home first time from Sterling’s lay-off, and Nolito extended City’s lead seconds after the restart having rounded Nita.
Argentine Aguero netted City’s fourth, firing low across Nita, and completed his hat-trick by sweeping home late on