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City primed for derby despite red card

Thomas Sorensen is ready to reprise his role as Melbourne City's one-man wall in the A-League derby.
Melbourne City will be without first-choice keeper Thomas Sorensen for next week's derby against Victory
Photo Source: AAP

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Melbourne City coach John Van 't Schip has few fears about facing cross-city rivals Victory without his first-string goalkeeper next week.

City eased to a 1-0 A-League win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, despite being reduced to 10 men for the last 30 minutes at a windswept Westpac Stadium.

Anthony Caceres's 31st minute strike was enough to see City home, even after Thomas Sorensen was red-carded for handling outside his area 15 minutes into the second half.

Dean Bouzanis pulled on the keeper's gloves, and looked composed under pressure as Wellington pushed forward hunting the equaliser.

While he was pleased with Bouzanis's performance, Van 't Schip wasn't surprised.

"We try to put a squad together where there's competition in every position," he said.

"Dean had to come on in very difficult circumstances, and he showed immediately that he's up to it.

"He had some excellent saves, very important saves, and he also kept calm."

So while Sorensen serves out the mandatory one-match suspension, Van 't Schip has every confidence City will lose little when they tackle Victory in next weekend's Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium.

Part of that confidence comes from the defensive display his outnumbered team constructed as the Phoenix launched an increasingly desperate hunt for a late equaliser.

"We didn't give that much away, and of course with 10 we became a little bit more under pressure," van 't Schip said.

"It's not only the defence itself, it starts up top. But in the moments we really had to defend deep, the boys did a good job."

Van 't Schip is reading little into the Victory's late lapse against Brisbane Roar on Friday, where they conceded a 96th minute goal in drawing 1-1.

"It will be a different game next week again," he said.

"It's always hard to concede a goal in the last second of the game, that's always frustrating, but derbies are games on their own."

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