Martial hurt his hamstring during the warm-up at Old Trafford and was forced to sit out the tie.
18-year-old Marcus Rashford made the step up in Martial’s absence and the youngster put in a memorable performance, scoring two goals as Man United advanced to the next stage of the Europa League. After the clash, van Gaal insisted that Martial has not ruptured his hamstring.
“It should be his first muscle injury [since arriving at the club],” he told BT Sport.
“But he is smart and wise to step out. It is not a rupture or anything like that. A tight hamstring. I don’t think it is very heavy.
“Anthony can be tired. He’s only 20 and he’s played all the matches so it’s not so remarkable. He stepped down himself and that I like very much.
“I have already explained to you the only muscle injury we have is Marouane Fellaini. That we know already when he played so many matches in a row. It’s always like that when you don’t have other players and it’s difficult to change or rotate. So the next muscle injury would be [expected to be] Martial but I don’t think he has a muscle injury. He is very intelligent – he steps down when his hamstring is tight.
“You have to cope with that, it’s difficult also for the team because, after David De Gea, now Martial, and Martial and De Gea have played very good seasons, I think, and they have to be replaced.”
The news that Martial’s injury is not too serious will come as a relief to United supporters, although they will be hoping he can make a particularly swift return with a clash against Arsenal coming up on Sunday.
If not, Rashford may have to line up against the Gunners. While he enjoyed a superb display on Thursday, Arsenal will provide a much sterner test.