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Guardiola praises resilient hat-trick hero Aguero

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lauded the response of Sergio Aguero, who went on to score three goals after missing two first-half penalties in the opening leg of Tuesday's Champions League qualifying playoff.

Aguero netted a hat trick as City cruised to a 5-0 win at Steaua Bucharest, but it could have been more for the Argentine forward.

He was left frustrated from the spot twice inside 21 minutes after his eighth-minute effort was saved by goalkeeper Florin Nita, while he blasted his second penalty over the crossbar following David Silva's 13th-minute opener.

"The fact he missed the penalties is part of the game, but it was important that Sergio stayed focused and didn't get down," Guardiola said. "He focused on his game and after he scored three goals. It's not important how many times you fall down, it's how many times you stand up and try again."

Aguero did make amends four minutes before halftime, and he completed his hat trick with a late double.

The 28-year-old, however, continues to struggle from the penalty spot, having missed four of his last five in European competition.

"I'm confident if he's confident. It depends on the players. If he's confident, for me it's not a problem," Guardiola replied when asked if Aguero will remain City's first-choice penalty taker.

City hosts Steaua in the return leg Aug. 24 after facing Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.