The young Frenchman grabbed his fifth goal for the Red Devils to nick a precious point after having earlier given away the penalty from which the hosts opened the scoring
Anthony Martial scored his first Champions League goal to seal a 1-1 draw for Manchester United in Wednesday’s trip to CSKA Moscow.
Seydou Doumbia put the home side ahead inside quarter of an hour after turning home the rebound from Roman Eremenko’s saved penalty, which Martial had conceded after being penalised for handball.
The France international redeemed his error in the second half with a fine headed equaliser – his first career goal in the competition as Van Gaal’s men picked up a point.
United dictated possession for the majority, but it was an encounter low on quality, with CSKA diligent in their defensive duties and the visitors too often lethargic on the ball.
Memphis Depay – left out of the starting XI again – was thrown on for the final 10 minutes, but the visitors could not find the winning goal to take them level on points with Wolfsburg at the top of the group.
Martial had an early penalty shout waved away after tumbling under pressure, but the France international was culpable in his own box in the 15th minute, inexplicably raising a hand to block Mario Fernandes’ attempt to keep the ball in play.
Eremenko’s spot-kick was superbly saved by David de Gea low to his right, but Doumbia pounced on the rebound to put CSKA ahead after a kind deflection off the goalkeeper’s legs.
De Gea rescued United on the half-hour mark, tipping Ahmed Musa’s curling effort from 30 yards over the crossbar as Louis van Gaal’s side played at a remarkably pedestrian pace.
Wayne Rooney’s flick goalwards after 33 minutes – their first shot of the match – following Antonio Valencia’s cross was blocked by Igor Akinfeev and the England captain curled wide moments later, but United looked short of ideas against CSKA’s deep defensive line.
United continued to dominate possession after the break but Rooney’s header, from a Ander Herrera cross, into the arms of Akinfeev from close range was their only meaningful chance before the hour mark.
Champions League debutant Jesse Lingard spurned a superb chance to equalise after being played through by Herrera as his low finish towards the far corner was hit tamely, before Eremenko fired straight at De Gea on a rare break forward for the hosts.
Herrera was beginning to dictate matters in the final third and the Spaniard played a crucial role when United finally found an equaliser. His precise ball to Valencia gave the Ecuador international room to cross for Martial, whose excellent glancing header went in off the far post beyond the dive of Akinfeev.
United pushed forward for a winner and Akinfeev reacted well to parry the ball away from substitute Marouane Fellaini after Depay’s cross, but CSKA held out for a draw, keeping them level with Van Gaal’s side on four points from three games in Group B.