Josep Guardiola says he is happy for Sergio Agüero to continue with penalty-taking duties after the Argentina striker made amends for two spot-kick failures with a hat-trick as Manchester City beat Steaua 5-0 on Tuesday.
“Yes, he missed two penalties, but after the first he wanted to take the second and I like a player who stands up to that responsibility,” said the City manager. “I like that he believes he has that power. I will leave it up to the players, but I am happy to let him carry on.”
It was goalless when home goalkeeper Florin Niță denied Agüero from the spot early on and, with David Silva having opened the scoring, the City No10 sent his next effort over the bar. He briefly looked crestfallen, raised both hands to apologise, then got on with it. A hat-trick of right-footed goals assuaged any guilt.
“We are almost in the Champions League,” said Guardiola of the handsome cushion City will take into next Wednesday’s play-off second leg. “It was a great performance, great attitudes. The result is amazing; I am so satisfied with the way we played – a big compliment to these fantastic players.”
Agüero has now missed four out of his past five penalties in European competition, though he did convert one against Sunderland at the weekend.