Football: Van Gaal unhappy with 'stupid' van Persie goal celebration

Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Oct 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Oct 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER (AFP) - Louis van Gaal labelled compatriot Robin van Persie "stupid" after his celebrations in scoring a dramatic late equaliser for Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea saw the experienced Dutch striker booked.

Van Gaal looked on course to fall to a defeat against Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who worked under him for three years at Barcelona, until van Persie struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But while van Gaal was obviously relieved to have secured what he felt was a deserved point, he was not so impressed with his star forward's response in celebrating the dramatic goal.

"You have seen a stupid reaction after the goal," said van Gaal. "You can be excited but you don't have to pull your shirt off. Then you have a yellow card, that is not so smart.

"But yes, we deserved a point. You know that, Jose Mourinho knows that also.

"I said to the boys, it wasn't our best performance and that's a pity because in these moments you have to show yourself against the better teams," the veteran Dutch manager added of a result that left his side 10 points behind Chelsea, who have 23 points.

Van Persie was one of nine players booked during the match, a surprisingly high figure given the non-violent nature of the contest, to go with Branislav Ivanovic's red card, for a second yellow, after his foul on Angel di Maria led to the free-kick that presented van Persie with his chance to equalise.