Sunday 4 December 2016

Manchester United's Anthony Martial atones for handball with terrific diving header equaliser

Paul Hirst

Published 21/10/2015 | 22:34

Manchester United's Anthony Martial, right, celebrates with team mates after scoring an equalizer during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial, right, celebrates with team mates after scoring an equalizer during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial, right, scores his side's first goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial, right, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial, second right, celebrates with Wayne Rooney after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester United at the Arena Khimki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Anthony Martial scored a delightful diving header to rescue Manchester United from a damaging defeat at CSKA Moscow.

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United initially froze on a sub-zero night in the Russian capital, gifting CSKA Moscow a penalty when Martial handled in the box.

Seydou Doumbia converted the follow up after David de Gea had tipped Roman Eremenko's spot-kick on to the post, but Martial ensured the match ended in a 1-1 draw with a second-half header.

In the first half United performed poorly on the return to the city where they lifted the Champions League in 2008.

De Gea saved brilliantly to deny Ahmed Musa in the Khimki Arena after Doumbia had put the hosts ahead.

But Louis van Gaal's men improved after the break and they just about deserved to take home the point that ensures they remain second in Group B.

The CSKA fans did their best to raise the temperature inside the ground before kick-off.

They held a huge surfer flag aloft, hailing CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky as 'The Exorcist' in charge of expelling the Red Devils from their stadium.

CSKA put maximum pressure on United from the off, pressing high up the pitch to deny the visitors any space.

Jesse Lingard, making his Champions League debut, showed signs of promise but could not prise open a rigid CSKA defence.

At the other end of the pitch former United midfielder Zoran Tosic fired an early shot wide and Mario Fernandes caused Matteo Darmian problems with his pace down the flank.

And with 15 minutes gone, the right-back won a penalty for CSKA.

Fernandes lifted the ball over Martial and drew a fine save from De Gea. United thought the danger had passed but referee Carlos Velasco Carballo spotted the France striker had handled the ball and pointed to the spot.

De Gea tipped Eremenko's penalty on to the post but the ball bounced into Doumbia's path off the goalkeeper's legs and he tucked the ball away.

United would have been 2-0 down soon after had De Gea not tipped over Musa's chip.

Rooney drew the first save of the match from Igor Akinfeev in the 32nd minute but the CSKA goalkeeper had nothing else to do before the half-time whistle.

Van Gaal brought Marouane Fellaini on for Bastian Schweinsteiger at the break. Little changed initially but United then started to improve.

Rooney then glanced the ball into Akinfeev's arms from Ander Herrera's cross.

The away fans held their breath as Musa entered the box after a CSKA break but he drilled into De Gea's arms and United went on the attack again.

Finally the pressure paid off. Herrera sent Antonio Valencia down the right flank and he whipped in a low ball for Martial, who beat Akinfeev with a diving header.

United pushed for a winner as CSKA tired. Rooney appealed for a penalty in the dying minutes when the ball appeared to touch the arm of a red shirt.

Memphis Depay came on for Lingard, but did not make a telling impact and United had to make do with a point from their trek east.

 

TWEET OF THE MATCH

 

"Schneiderlin needs to keep protecting back four.. Don't get carried away! Herrera in the picking up pockets nicely since HT #UCL" - Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole @vancole9

 

https://twitter.com/vancole9/status/656926449451053057

 

PLAYER RATINGS

CSKA Moscow

Igor Akinfeev: 7

Mario Fernandes: 8

Sergei Ignashevich: 6

Vasili Berezutski: 6

Georgi Schennikov: 6

Pontus Wernbloom: 6

Zoran Tosic: 7

Alan Dzagoev: 7

Roman Eremenko: 6

Ahmed Musa: 7

Seydou Doumbia: 8

 

Substitutes:

Alexsei Berezutski (on for Vasili Berezutski, 40mins): 6

Kirill Pancehnko (on for Eremekno, 83mins): 6

Aleksandrs Cauna (on for Dzagoev, 86mins): 6

 

Manchester United

David de Gea: 8

Marcos Rojo: 5

Phil Jones: 5

Chris Smalling: 6

Antonio Valencia: 7

Bastian Schweinsteiger: 5

Morgan Schneiderlin: 6

Anthony Martial: 8

Jesse Lingard: 7

Ander Herrera: 7

Wayne Rooney: 5

 

Substitutes:

Marouane Fellaini (on for Schweinsteiger, 45mins): 7

Daley Blind (on for Rojo, 62mins): 5

Memphis Depay (on for Lingard, 78mins): 5

 

STAR PLAYER

David de Gea: Dug United out of trouble once again with a fine save to deny Ahmed Musa from long range. The United goalkeeper was incredibly unlucky that his penalty save fell into Seydou Doumbia's path too.

 

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

David de Gea: The Spaniard's first half save from Musa stopped United from falling 2-0 down. The former Atletico Madrid stopper backpedalled and somehow managed to tip the winger's chip over the bar.

 

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Louis van Gaal deserves credit for blooding United academy graduate Jesse Lingard. He played well on only his second start for the club, probing the home defence on a regular basis. His decision to introduce Fellaini at half-time also paid off as United looked more threatening with the big Belgian. Leonid Slutski pinpointed United's full-backs as weak points, which was a wise move. Mario Fernandes and Ahmed Musa were constant threats down the flanks.

 

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Wayne Rooney: Another inept performance from the United captain. He barely tested Igor Akinfeev in the home goal and slowed down United's attacks. United look far more potent when Martial leads the line. He offers pace that Rooney simply no longer has.

 

WHO'S UP NEXT

Manchester United v Manchester City (Premier League, Sunday, October 25)

 

United had the majority of the ball throughout the match, enjoying 72 per cent possession, but were unable to make it count.

And midfielder Schneiderlin knew that was where his side slipped up.

"We had good possession of the ball but we could not create enough chances," he told BT Sport Europe.

"Second half was maybe a bit better, maybe Moscow were a little tired, we kept the ball and made them run a lot and then we had some chances in the second half.

"We could have played a bit more direct maybe but we know we can improve."

And the Frenchman insists the most important thing was to return to Manchester with something in the bag.

"It's never easy to come to Russia, we wanted to win but we will take a point," he added.

"We wanted to come here to win, but the most important thing was not to leave here with zero points, sometimes the most important thing is to get what you can and that's one point.

"It's a bit of mixed feeling, but in the Champions League it is a marathon, it's not just about one game."

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