It was a performance typified by steel and determination as Melbourne City FC began its Hyundai A-League campaign with a 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. Here are the key Quotes and Notes to emerge from Saturday night's Round 1 clash.
Melbourne City FC Head Coach, John van’t Schip
On the overall performance...
“Two different parts, I think. The first half we played some good football and created some good chances, going 1-0 up and I think if you make the second or third [goal], the game’s [over]. But we didn't do that and the second half and the sending off of Thomas Sorensen it was a different game and the team showed also in that aspect, character and togetherness; as a team they were fighting and in the end that resulted in the three points.
“So very happy about the football we played in the first half in the sense that it’s always a difficult game coming here to Wellington but that we had good possession, we created opportunities to score a goal, we scored a goal, and also very happy and pleased with the fighting spirit we showed in the second half to get the three points back to Melbourne.
On the repercussions of Thomas Sorensen's red card ahead of the Melbourne Derby...
"For now it is just important we have the three points. I think we tried to put a squad together that there was competition in every position and also in the goalkeeper position."
"Dean Bouzanis had to come in under very difficult circumstances and he showed immediately he's up to it. I think he had some excellent saves, very important saves and he kept calm in some moments. We know these things can happen, we're training for that, we try to keep players who are not playing in the line up...ready when they have to jump in and Dean showed today a very good example.
On the team’s defence…
"Yes, look, I think we didn't give too much away, knowing that going down to 10 men we were under a little more pressure, but we were happy with the overall defensive work, becaues it's not only the defensive work becaues I think it starts up top. In the moments we had to defend really deep, the boys did a really good job as well.
"All 10 did a great job and the boys who came in did a great job; Nicky [Fitzgerald], Manny [Muscat] had to come in and do a lot and Dean of course."
Looking ahead to the Melbourne Derby...
“It will be a different game next week again …Derbies are games on their own and we will have a good week to prepare now and make sure we get everyone fit and healthy, prepared and ready for Saturday."
- Melbourne City have won four of their last five matches against Wellington Phoenix and have kept five clean sheets in their last seven encounters with the New Zealand side
- Eight (8) players made their competitive A-League debuts for Melbourne City; Josh Rose, Neil Kilkenny, Nicolas Colazo, Manny Muscat, Bruce Kamau, Luke Brattan, Fernando Brandan and Michael Jakobsen.
- Anthony Caceres’ neatly-taken goal in the 31st minute was only his third goal for the club and second in the A-League since joining on loan from Manchester City in January. His previous A-League goal - a header - came in April against Brisbane Roar in a 3-1 win at AAMI Park. His other strike came in the FFA Cup Round of 32 against Floreat Athena in August.
- Manny Muscat, who featured as a second half substitute, played his first match for City against his former club, Wellington Phoenix, after signing during the A-League pre-season.