Louis van Gaal felt Premier League leaders Manchester City were fortunate to escape the derby at Old Trafford with a 0-0 draw, claiming Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera should have been awarded a second-half penalty.
United looked to provide a rousing finish to the drab 170th edition of the fixture as substitute Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar and Chris Smalling’s snap shot drew a fine save from City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
But Van Gaal’s post-match focus was trained upon Mark Clattenberg and the referee’s decision not to punish Raheem Sterling for a clumsy challenge on Herrera when the midfielder collected a short corner.
The Dutchman offered a degree of sympathy to the official but called for the use of increased video technology in football to help with such close calls.
“I’ve seen on the video of the foul on Herrera – it’s a penalty. So we were also unlucky with the referee, I think,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.
“It is for me easy to see because I have a reputation. You can see that Ander is touching the ball and I believe that Sagna [sic, Sterling] was hitting his foot and ankle.
“I can see that but the referee has to decide within one second, that’s difficult.
“I always say that we need the modern equipment to judge. But I am the only one in the desert that is calling for that.”
Overall, Van Gaal was pleased with the manner in which his team were able to control large parts of the contest against City – who remain two points above United and ahead of Arsenal on goal difference.
“I think it was a very tough game for both sides,” he said. “We were unlucky and they were lucky. That’s what I can say about this match.
“It was one of our best matches – 90 minutes concentration and focus, 90 minutes control of the game against a side like Manchester City.
“I cannot complain as a manager but you want to win and we did not win. That’s the most important thing.”