Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes Maroune Fellaini reacted like any other human being after he elbowed Leicester’s Robert Huth for pulling his hair in the first half of their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Huth plucked Fellaini’s hair inside the Foxes 18-yard area and the Belgium international retaliated with an elbow, but the incident was not seen by the referee.
“When you look at what Huth is doing with Fellaini, that’s a penalty,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports. “Shall I grab your hair? What is your reaction, when I grab your hair? Your hair is much shorter than Fellaini, but when I do that, what are you doing then?
“I think that’s a normal reaction. You have to first pick Huth, because he was the guy who grabbed the hair of Fellaini. I think the reaction of Fellaini is like a human being.”
Despite producing one of their best performances of 2016 and denying the leaders the opportunity to raise their first-ever Premier League trophy, the former Netherlands national team coach admits the draw did not help the Red Devils in their bid to secure a top-four spot.
“We played one of our best matches in the season, and it was not enough,” he added.
“We created a lot of chances, we have to score, but we didn’t score, and they score out of a set play again. They are very dangerous with that and we know that.
“We could have scored, and it’s a pity, because in spite of the draw, the fans were applauding, and that is significant.
“It’s tougher when you don’t win, of course. But it is all ‘if’, we don’t know. We are still in a race.”