Man United got off to a horrible start when Anthony Martial‘s handball resulted in a penalty which led to Seydou Doumbia’s opener. Van Gaal’s side never looked like themselves in the first half as they failed to trouble Igor Akinfeev in the CSKA goal.
It was a much better display in the second period and Martial got United back on level terms with a brilliantly placed diving header. It was just reward for van Gaal’s men and he was happy to see them come away with a point.
“We could not play at a high tempo, it was too slow in the first half. We had to improve at switching from side to side and we did that. We could have won but a draw was deserved.”
Having gone behind, United will be happy to have avoided defeat in a tricky game. Van Gaal was evidently disappointed with the first half display, much like United fans everywhere, but it was good to see the response from the players in the second period.
The change in United’s play was evident and will hopefully give the players confidence before the Manchester derby on Sunday. Van Gaal will know that a display such as the one in the first half against CSKA could see them already out of the game against City and he will be keen to avoid a repeat.