Morgan Schneiderlin praised Manchester United team-mate Anthony Martial for refusing to let his head drop after he rescued a point against CSKA Moscow.
The France international’s careless handball gave CSKA the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, with Seydou Doumbia converting a rebound after David de Gea saved from Roman Eremenko.
Martial made amends in the second half with a fine header to ensure a 1-1 draw which puts United second in their Champions League group behind Wolfsburg and Schneiderlin was delighted with his compatriot’s attitude.
“I think in the first half we had good possession of the ball, but we couldn’t create many chances,” he told BT Sport. “Second half maybe the movement was a bit better, maybe Moscow were a bit tired, that was one of the key points because we kept the ball and made them run a lot.
“And we had some chances in the second half, we could have played a bit more direct sometimes, but we know that we can improve because we need to create a bit more.
“But we know that in Russia it is never easy to come away with a point. We wanted to win, but we will try to win the next game.
“He [Martial] changed the dynamic of the game. He didn’t let his head go down because it could happen to anyone, the penalty, and then he scored a great goal. After that we pushed on and we gave everything, but we couldn’t score the second goal, which is a shame.”
Schneiderlin admitted United were disappointed not to have picked up maximum points, but he is confident they remain in a strong position to progress to the last 16.
“We wanted to win, but the most important thing was that we didn’t go away with zero points,” he added. “We had possession of the ball, sometimes on the counter you see teams who have a lot of the ball, but they concede on the counter-attack so we needed to be aware after the equaliser that they didn’t score a second one.
“It’s a mixed feeling as we wanted to take the three points, but in the Champions League it is a marathon, it is not just about one game so we have got to make sure we go through to the next round.”