• Premier League

Ferguson hails 'special' derby win

ESPN staff
December 9, 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United deserved to take all three points away from Etihad Stadium after his side emerged triumphant against rivals Manchester City.

United moved six points clear at the top of the Premier League after Robin van Persie's deflected free-kick in stoppage time secured a 3-2 victory in the Manchester derby.

The visitors nearly went 3-0 up after an Ashley Young goal appeared to have been incorrectly ruled out for offside, only for City to draw level after Pablo Zablaleta's 86th-minute equaliser.

But Van Persie marked his first Manchester derby with a dramatic winner in the dying minutes to end City's unbeaten run, which stretched back to December 2010, and Ferguson was understandably delighted with the result.

"I think we played very well," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "I thought we should have finished the game off. It's a funny game football. It should have been 3-0, the goal was perfectly onside, then they go up and score.

"Football can kick you in the teeth that way. Then they scored the second goal and at that moment in time they deserved that. They came back, were fighting like hell, they gambled everything on the three strikers. But up to that point I thought we were far better than them.

"Today was a special one simply because they haven't lost at home for two years, both of us are contending at the top of the league. It was a fantastic game, you couldn't take your eyes off it.

"I think we can be proud of the fact that, opposed to last year when we sat off them too much, gave them far too much respect, there was a great team spirit. They were determined to win the match. I think in general everyone would recognise that."

Van Persie hailed his late winner as a special way to win the Manchester derby. He said: "We had a really good start, because of Wayne two really good, clinical finishes.

"We were in control, but City always come back. It's a really special way to end this game, with the three points in a really dramatic way. To go six points clear, to beat our closest rivals, we're delighted. We're going to celebrate."

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