Vincent Kompany’s thunderous header on the stroke of half-time was all that separated the two sides in what was a cagey affair at the Etihad Stadium.
The result hoists City above their local rivals on goal difference with two games left to play – but Mancini refused to get carried away with the victory with a difficult trip to Newcastle and a home clash with QPR still to come.
“I don’t that it’s important what I can say to our supporters or my players,” Mancini told Sky Sports. “It’s important that we work well and that we play a good game on Sunday against Newcastle because they [United] play an easy game against Swansea.
“It changes nothing for us. In this moment we are top of the league but I think that United have a slight advantage.”
Mancini’s side, who could become the first team to win the league on goal difference since Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the title in 1989, felt his side were worthy winners on Monday.
“I think that we deserved to win this game,” he continued. “We scored, we had chances, we played well. We had chances to score the second goal and I don’t think they had a chance to score. It was a good performance. It was a difficult game because United are a top team, but we knew that.”
Meanwhile, United boss Ferguson is under no illusions about the significance of his side’s defeat with only two games left – against Swansea City at Old Trafford and away at Sunderland.
“It was a damaging result,” said Ferguson. “They are in the driving seat and we are up against it. They only need to win to two more games and they win the league.”
The United manager added: “We didn’t test their goalkeeper enough. We started quite brightly and for 15 minutes our possession of the ball was good, but the longer the half went on I thought we were looking for half-time.”
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