Pep Guardiola had a very successful Champions League debut with Manchester City, as the Citizens dominated Steaua Bucharest on their way to a 5-0 victory in the first leg of the Playoffs, thanks to goals from David Silva, Sergio Agüero (3) and Nolito. The Sky Blues had an impressive performance and will take a spectacular result into the second leg, where City will look to finish Steaua and qualify for the group stage.
Steaua had a very lively start, working hard to pressure City and trouble the buildup play from the back. The Citizens had a few moments of difficulty trying to deal with the pressing, but quickly took control of the action and started to dominate the game through plenty of possession and chance creation.
Sergio Agüero missed two penalties in fifteen minutes, Nolito, Kolarov and Sterling hit the crossbar and De Bruyne came very close with a fantastic strike from outside the box. After so many unlucky breaks, City deserved a goal, and two of them came thanks to a fantastic performance from Raheem Sterling, who recorded two assists as David Silva and Agüero found the back of the net.
At halftime, a dominating and exciting performance from the Sky Blues earned them a much deserved two-goal lead, and there would be plenty of opportunities to increase that gap in the final period.
The Citizens started the second period as they ended the first: on fire, dominating the game and creating chance after chance. Another goal came fast, when Nolito finished off a spectacular play and dribbled past the goalkeeper for the third.
Guardiola's sides never rest on a result, and City continued to search for more goals, and a fourth came when Nolito and Agüero combined for a nice goal, finished by Kun for his second of the game. There was MORE on the way, as Sergio scored a nice solo goal to complete his hat-trick and finish off the game.
In the end, a phenomenal victory, and a performance that encourages Pep Guardiola, who sees the potential of this team and is certainly very excited. We all are.
Steaua: Niţă | Enache, Tamaş, Toşca, Momcilovic | Achim (Bourceanu), Muniru (Popescu) | Adi Popa, Stanciu, Hamroun | Golubovic (Tudorie)
Man City: Caballero | Zabaleta (Sagna), Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov (Clichy) | Fernandinho | Sterling, De Bruyne (Fernando), Silva, Nolito | Agüero
Goals: Silva (12'), Agüero (41' 78', 89'), Nolito (49')