The France international conceded a first-half penalty after he handled the ball in the penalty area.
And CSKA forward Seydou Doumbia broke the deadlock after he pounced on the rebound following David De Gea’s initial save from Roman Eremenko’s spot-kick.
But the 19-year-old forward made amends for the penalty in the second half with a clinical header to level the Group B match in Moscow.
Speaking at his post-match media following the stalemate, Van Gaal said Martial compensated for his recklessness with a strong second-half performance.
“Yes of course! [Smiles] He was playing again with a lot of threat to the opponent and he always plays at a certain level, he’s very consistent. For a 19-year-old boy, I like that,” Van Gaal said.
Martial has scored five goals in nine games in all competitions for the Red Devils following his £36m move to Old Trafford from Ligue 1 side Monaco in the summer transfer window.
United are two points behind Group B leaders Wolfsburg.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news