Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal tugged a television reporter by the hair in a bizarre attempt to defend Marouane Fellaini’s clash with Robert Huth during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
Van Gaal was quizzed on the incident which saw United midfielder Fellaini escape without punishment after elbowing Huth in the neck and opted to explain why the Belgian had reacted that way by getting physical with the reporter.
Claiming Fellaini’s hair had been grabbed by Leicester defender Huth in a deliberate piece of provocation, van Gaal reached out to do the same to his Sky Sports interviewer.
“It was a very difficult match for the referee -- when you see what Huth is doing with Fellaini, is that not a penalty?,” van Gaal said.
“When I grab your hair...Your hair is much shorter.
“Every human being who is grabbed with their hair would react.”
United will now wait to see if Fellaini is retrospectively punished by the Football Association for his offence.
The draw delayed Leicester’s bid to complete their fairytale Premier League triumph, but the leaders will still take the title if second-placed Tottenham fail to beat Chelsea on Monday.
For United, the result was more damaging as it leaves them with only a slender hope of qualifying for the Champions League via a top four finish.
“It is tougher when you don’t win, of course it is tougher (to finish in the top four). But we are still in the race,” van Gaal said.
“I think we played one of our best matches of the season, but it was not enough.
“I think Leicester City deserves to win this championship. They have very good organisation, but we had a lot of chances.”