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  • Tim Cahill of Melbourne City celebrates with team-mate Bruno Fornaroli after scoring a goal (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The philosophy behind John van’t Schip's coaching has been risky so far this season, but it's one Melbourne City must continue to play by, writes Luke Sicari.
By
Luke Sicari

17 Oct 2016 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 17 Oct 2016 - 3:08 PM

Everything about City’s 4-1 derby win over Melbourne Victory was risky.

Tim Cahill’s ambitious 40-meter volley attempt at goal? Risky.

Dean Bouzanis playing as a sweeper keeper, with Besart Berisha constantly lurking? Risky.

Playing a three-man defence against one of the most powerful scoring sides in the competition? Risky.

With risk comes great reward, though, benefits that van’t Schip is reaping, after City’s derby humiliation of Victory.  

The first half was more than a humiliation – it was an annihilation.

City had 66 per cent of possession in the opening 45 minutes and took full advantage.

City had 10 shots, compared to Victory’s lone attempt. They had 17 crosses into the area and had a passing accuracy of 78 per cent. Victory’s numbers in the same categories were three and 58 per cent.

City relaxed into a more conservative game plan in the second half, with the result already decided.

The story is Cahill’s stunning goal, as he made an immediate A-League impact.

The warning, however, was set down to the rest of the competition.

City is going to play risky and with their firepower, they have no choice. Their rivals may have no answers to stopping it, either.

We have never seen a team with as much attacking weapons as City.

When you have Australia’s greatest ever goal scorer in Cahill and the A-League goal-record holder in Bruno Fornaroli, it is inevitable City will score goals at a prolific rate.

However, add the names of Bruce Kamau, Fernando Brandan, Nicolas Colazo and Luke Brattan into the mix, and you have a team with an embarrassment of riches on the attacking front.

With this squad, van’t Schip would be foolish to implement a cautious game plan.  

The collective attacking threats City posses force them to play a three-man defence. It leaves them vulnerable on the counter-attack, but no team has been able to break City down yet.

The season is just two games old, so the small sample size must be considered.

We have seen City at their very best and it is devastating. What they look like when the attacking options dry up for 90 minutes, and the defence gets exposed, is an unknown.

Whether City’s offensive system can be maintained across a full campaign is also a question mark.

With the options at his disposal, though, van’t Schip has no choice but to play this way. As we saw in the derby, it could be what sets City apart this season.