Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson saluted his team after coming through a pulsating derby with a 3-2 win at neighbours City.
Roberto Mancini's battling men seemed to have salvaged a point having trailed at half-time to a Wayne Rooney brace, only for Robin van Persie to stroke in a deflected free-kick winner in the dying seconds.
Securing all the spoils to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League would have been pleasing for United.
But it will have also helped to reduce some of the pain of losing twice to their rivals last season, including the 6-1 demolition at Old Trafford.
"It was a fantastic game and you couldn't take your eyes off it," Ferguson said.
"They hadn't lost in two years at home and both of us are contending at the top of the league. We should have finished it off though."
United were unlucky not to have scored a third, with Ashley Young incorrectly ruled offside when he tapped in after Van Persie had curled a shot against the upright.