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Louis van Gaal: What I told my players at half-time against CSKA Moscow


Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he was not upset with striker Anthony Martial at half-time after the youngster gave away a cheap penalty in the 15th minute of the game.

The Red Devils kept their second place in Group B of the Champions League after the Frenchman cancelled out his early mistake to restore parity in the 65th minute.

They will face the Russians at Old Trafford in November in what could be a crucial game to qualify for the next stage of the competition.

"It was a stupid reaction of Anthony [Martial, to give CSKA a penalty], but before that maybe it was offside," van Gaal told BT Sport.

"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! [Laughs] But 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.

"[At half-time] I just gave my advice to the players about how we could win the game because that's more important than just being angry.

"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.

"We had a lot but you have to create something from that and we didn't create much. That's why I changed the shape and players and I think the second half was a better half and we deserved to draw and maybe also to win.

"We played at a higher tempo [in the second half]. We switched the ball from side to side more and that's also why we got the goal and created more chances and didn't give too much away."

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Anthony Martial, Louis van Gaal