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  • John van't Schip of Melbourne City and Kevin Muscat of Melbourne Victory speak during the FFA Cup semi-final press conference (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Jesse Robinson, Luke Sicari

25 Oct 2016 - 10:26 AM  UPDATED 25 Oct 2016 - 10:26 AM

After Melbourne City's 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory in round two of the A-League, the rivals meet again in Tuesday night's FFA Cup semi-final.

What lessons can each team take from last derby, which will help them make the cup final?

Keys to the City, for City.

by Jesse Robinson
Constant pressure, again.

Last time out City embarrassed their big brother at their home ground, from the outset of the derby City were the aggressors, pressing their cross town rivals relentlessly, any time a Victory player had the ball he was closed down within seconds.

It looked ominous from the outset for Victory, with their midfield completely dominated by Luke Brattan and Co, allowing city to dominate possession and dictate the game.
Holding 55% possession in the derby allowed the men in sky blue to play the game on their own terms and eventually win.
City will need to bring back the aggressiveness they lacked against Glory, to stifle what will be a Victory side seeking revenge.
Stay on the attack
All of Melbourne City’s strength lies in its lethal attack, the likes of Fornaroli, Colazo, Brandan, Kamau and of course Cahill are the key to City’s success.
City’s strong attack hit Victory for four and looked like it could’ve scored seven in the first match up of the season, City will need to again keep the Victory defenders back pedalling to win this game.

Van’t Schip has an arsenal at his disposal, having Bruce Kamau to drive at defenders, Fernando Brandan going streaming past them, Fornaroli constantly getting in behind and using his strength to win free kicks, while Nicolas Colazo sends balls across the box, searching for Australia’s favourite forehead in Tim Cahill.

City has scored six goals in their last two games in the A-League and will be looking to emulate that form on Tuesday.

Luke Brattan 

While Brattan hurt his hamstring on Friday night against Perth, he has declared himself good to go for Tuesday night.

The former Brisbane Roar man, currently on loan from parent club, Manchester City, is the link between defence and City’s deadly strike force.

Deployed in a central midfield role, Brattan has taken the success of Aaron Mooy a season ago and made it his own.

Receiving short balls out of defence and linking up with Kilkenny and Cahill in midfield has been the key to a lot of City’s goals so far.

Brattan earned himself man of the match awards in the opening two rounds of the season for the Citizens and was vital all over the pitch again against Perth Glory last round.

If Brattan can apply the same pressure he has all season and continue to turn defense into offense, City will be very hopeful of their chances.

Keys to Victory, for Victory.

By Luke Sicari
Absorb City’s pressure 

With City’s countless attacking options, they have the firepower to overwhelm any defence. This was the case in the previous derby, as Victory’s back four had no luck stopping City’s precise passing and opportunity making style of play.

Thankfully for Kevin Muscat, the Perth Glory devised a blueprint to limit City’s attacking forces last Friday night.

Not only did the Glory have their back four playing deeper, but they also had their midfielders playing as defenders. This allowed Perth to absorb City’s possession-dominant attack and it helped diminish their goal scoring chances.

The likes of Leigh Broxham, Oliver Bozanic and Carl Valeri need to stay in front of City’s attackers, closing off passing lanes and absorbing the pressure of John van’t Schip’s troops.  

Get City on the counter-attack
If Victory are able to effectively tighten the screws defensively, it’ll allow them to get City on the counter-attack, something Perth did excellently on Friday night.

While Victory prefer to play a possession game, they need to adjust if they want to reach the cup final. City are always vulnerable on the counter, one of the downsides to the attacking philosophy they take to the pitch.

Playing just three men back, Victory need to make sure City pay the price. After attempting just five shots at goal in the first derby, that number needs to rise exponentially if Victory want to have any chance at knocking off their cross-town rivals.  
Get Besart Berisha involved
One way Victory will be able to effectively catch City on the counter is to get Berisha involved.

The Albanian went missing in the first derby, having little impact on the result. Berisha had just two shots and won 30 percent of his duels in the 4-1 defeat, robbing Victory of their biggest attacking asset.

Berisha is a player made for the big moments. He thrives in foreign territory and feeds off the big crowds and atmosphere. He would have been kicking himself after his performance in the first derby, but will be salivating at the chance to redeem himself just a week later.