Oops! Van Gaal forgets Smalling's name after Man Utd win

The Manchester United manager pays tribute to the centre-back and David de Gea after beating CSKA Moscow on Tuesday but calls the England international "Michael"

GOALEXTRA TIME   By George Ankers
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was indebted to Chris Smalling for his performance in Tuesday's 1-0 win against CSKA Moscow - but not quite enough to remember the defender's name!

After Wayne Rooney's second-half goal finally delivered a long-overdue victory for the Red Devils, the Dutchman took time at his post-match press conference to pay tribute to David de Gea for saving a Seydou Doumbia chance just beforehand, as well as Smalling for a vital block.

But Van Gaal mistakenly called the England international "Michael" as he sang his praises to the press.

"[Doumbia's chance was] the only attack of CSKA Moscow that a player of Manchester United stepped in on the wrong way, and then David de Gea has saved us," said the manager. "And after that, Michael Smalling has saved us..."

It's not the first time Van Gaal has made the faux pas. Smalling has previously been called "Mike" by the manager, this time receiving a more formal mention. 

Being part of a defence which has not conceded a goal for nearly 500 minutes probably means that Smalling won't mind so much about such minutiae, however!