Manchester United left a chilly Moscow with one point after a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in the Champions League. Anthony Martial scored for United in the second half to salvage a point for the Red Devils.
United fell behind in the 15th minute when a penalty was awarded to CSKA after Anthony Martial handled the ball inside the penalty area. Roman Emerenko missed the penalty kick, but Seydou Doumbia knocked in the rebound left by David de Gea.
“It was a stupid reaction of Anthony [Martial, to give CSKA a penalty], but before that maybe it was offside,” van Gaal told mufc.com after the game. “From the bench I thought it was, but I don’t know. It’s the first time he’s done it and there always has to be a first time! [Laughs] But for us it was very unlucky because I think we controlled the game. I don’t think we played too fast though in ball possession, it was too slow in the first half. We improved that in the second half and scored a fantastic goal. We could have won but ‘could have’ doesn’t count in football.”
Van Gaal also revealed what he said to his players during halftime.
“I just gave my advice to the players about how we could win the game because that’s more important than just being angry,” van Gaal said. “A reaction like Martial – yes, it was stupid, but it happens and we are all human beings. Angry is not the right word, maybe disappointed because we were playing too slowly in ball possession. We had a lot but you have to create something from that and we didn’t create much. That’s why I changed the shape and players and I think the second half was a better half and we deserved to draw and maybe also to win.”
Van Gaal forgave Martial after he scored the equalizer in the second half. Martial scored a diving header in the 65th minute after a cross by Antonio Valencia.
“Yes of course! [Smiles] He was playing again with a lot of threat to the opponent and he always plays at a certain level, he’s very consistent. For a 19-year-old boy I like that.”