Van Gaal: I've already forgiven Martial!

The Red Devils boss felt his side were ‘unlucky’ not to beat the Moscow club and insisted that the goalscoring France striker was only human after the teenager gave away a penalty

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he has already forgiven Anthony Martial for his ‘stupid’ mistake against CSKA Moscow in Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw in Russia.

Seydou Doumbia gave the hosts the lead, reacting first after David de Gea saved Roman Eremenko’s penalty following Martial’s handball.

The French teenager made amends, however, heading in Antonio Valencia’s cross the rescue a point for United.

Van Gaal labelled Martial’s mistake ‘stupid’ but praised the summer signing’s overall display.

When asked by the club’s official website if he had forgiven Martial, the Dutchman replied: “Yes of course! 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.

“It was a stupid reaction of Anthony, but before that maybe it was offside. 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!”

The United boss felt his side were unlucky not to pick up all three points after a strong display in Moscow.

“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.”

“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.”

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