Louis van Gaal: Manchester United were ‘too slow’ in first half against CSKA Moscow

by Sid Choudhary

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side were “too slow” in the first half in the 1-1 draw away at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

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.

However, van Gaal brought on Marouane Fellaini for Bastian Schweinsteiger at half time and the change seemed to work as United finally got themselves into the game.

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.

Louis van Gaal 64

Speaking after the match, the manager said: “I knew it would be a very difficult game. They had the present from Anthony Martial and then it is difficult when you are behind.

“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.

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