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A-League's VAR problems plain: Joyce

Both Melbourne City and the A-League's video assistant referee are in for a week of scrutiny after Perth Glory's 3-1 win at AAMI Park.

City failed to win for a fourth straight week on Friday, falling victim to Kenny Lowe's counter-attackers on a heated night.

The VAR system played a major hand in the loss.

With the match at 1-1, the video assistant saw something in Osama Malik's tackle on 16-year-old Perth talent Jacob Italiano that central referee Daniel Elder missed.

A two-minute review ensued, and once Elder had a chance to re-watch Malik's studs go into Italiano's thigh, he presented the City utility with a red card.

Both Glory coach Kenny Lowe and opening goalscorer Mitch Nichols called the moment "lucky" but City boss Warren Joyce chose to bite his tongue.

"It's a waste of time talking about refereeing decisions. I don't want to get myself in trouble," he said.

Pushed on the VAR system, Joyce wasn't as silent.

"It's a weird one isn't it. There's got to be something a bit more instant," he said.

"I don't want to get involved because it's the rule. We're trying it out (but) I think it's plain to see the problems."

The A-League is one of a few national competitions that is trialling the technology, which could be in play at next year's World Cup.

Malik's tackle shows the issues that still cloud its use.

The opportunity for review arose because it was a potential penalty incident, and under the guidelines, Elder could only change his decision in the case of an 'obvious error'.

But given most pundits saw the red card as harsh, and given the ball had long slipped from Italiano's control, was it obvious?

Joyce could at least see merit in City's fight, even if they came up short.

On Friday night, City had 64 per cent possession, more shots, and more then 200 passes than the visitors.

Ross McCormack also put a tumultuous week of injury and disciplinary issues behind him with another stunning free kick.

More importantly to Joyce, City showed hustle after the break.

"We played more attacking players than we've ever played in a game this season and we didn't start with the same intensity," he said.

"In the second half, they were magnificent with their attitude and commitment and willing to drive the game.

"We certainly didn't deserve to lose 3-1. It's a cruel way to get a third goal and it makes it look a different game."