Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal called Anthony Martial “stupid” for the handball which led to CSKA’s goal in the 1-1 Champions League draw.
Martial raised his hands to block the ball in the penalty area, booked by the referee for his offence. The resulting penalty was saved by David de Gea, but Seydou Doumbia converted the rebound to give the Russian Premier League side a first-half lead.
Martial made amends for his mistake by heading in United’s equaliser, and his display as a whole earned praise from his manager.
“Martial is a human being,” said Van Gaal. “He reacted and it’s a stupid reaction, but sometimes these things happen.
“He said it’s the first time it has happened to him, that he gives away a penalty. But I was very happy with his performance.
“I knew in advance that it would be a very difficult game because CSKA are very well organised and compact. They also had the present of a penalty from Martial, so it was more difficult for us, because they could play more compact.”
Despite labouring to a draw, Van Gaal says that United’s Champions League campaign is “back on schedule”.
“We are now on schedule after the PSV Eindhoven defeat. Now we have two home matches and we are very strong at home. I hope we can win these games so we are qualified or nearly qualified, but we also have a game away to Wolfsburg.”