Juan Mata kept his feet on the ground as his Manchester United side came back from 1-0 down to win 4-2 against local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford.
The game started with City as the more dominant side when Sergio Aguero grabbed an early goal before Ashley Young equalised.
A first-half header from Marouane Fellaini as well as goals from Mata and Chris Smalling sealed victory before a late Aguero consolation finish.
The Spanish midfielder, who recently scored both goals in United’s victory against North West derby against Liverpool, felt that his team’s ambition of a Champions League spot is still not certain.
Mata said: “Arsenal are doing great and I am sure City and Liverpool are going to try until the end so we have to fight until the last minute.
“It is a big win and it is a boost of confidence, we still have big games to go.”
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini job has come under threat after a poor run of results.
He believes that the loss was not a consequence of an ageing side and attributed the second United goal to a lack of focus from Pablo Zabaletta.
The Chilean said: “I do not think there was a problem of pace with the United team I think the problems were our mistakes for two of their goals.”
Yes, of course it was a magnificent win today. We knew we had to get three points today, we knew it was going to be a tough game but I think you can see in the way we started. Obviously we are disappointed to go a goal behind but we showed that character and that team spirit to get ourselves back into the game and I don’t think any other team was going to win it once we went ahead. It is an amazing feeling.
I was delighted to get the goal but obviously getting the assist was magnificent. Like I say it was a derby, we showed that character and team spirit to get back into the game and go and win the game. Obviously just listened to what the manager has said, he wanted to play me and I have wanted to go out there and repay him I am always in the team to do a job and everybody was magnificent.
Obviously it is a derby so we are delighted to get that win. I am not too sure what it is we are just taking each game as it comes, a lot of people have spoken about the run-in that we had. We played Tottenham, Liverpool, Villa and obviously the derby today and we just wanted to get maximum points and maximum wins out of that. We take each game as it comes but we are definitely going to celebrate this one.
Well, I felt that is what we had to do. I think in the first ten to 15 minutes they were brilliant, they played great football but after that I think the team showed character and we could comeback. It is a massive win for us fantastic result and I guess everyone from united is happy.
The atmosphere was crazy it is something we would never forget. You can feel how important it was for the fans and for us, but we still have games to go and have to keep going. It was one more step obviously it is a big win and it is a boost of confidence but we still have big games to go. Arsenal are doing great and I am sure City and Liverpool are going to try until the end so we have to fight until the last minute.
Louis Van Gaal
Three points, I think and four points ahead of fourth place in the table and I am very happy for the fans because I have seen what it meant for the fans because the fans are always supporting us also when the results are not so good.
The result is fantastic of course, 4-1 and then I must bring Carrick off the pitch because he was a little bit injured but of course a little bit stupid of me because I want to give minutes for all players who are working very hard and some players didn’t know we were playing with 10 men. No the crowd is yelling it is very difficult to bring the message to 11 players. Wayne does know because he had to play as a holding midfielder and Ashley Young.
We were starting very badly I think we were not the Manchester United we have seen in the last matches, we were very nervous, I don’t know why. But it was like that and we didn’t get pressure on the ball in the beginning, but then we scored the goal with the fantastic assist of David de Gea and also Ashley Young of course who is running the first post. From that moment I think there was more confidence in my team and then we started to develop our pace and game plan.
I think the second half was much better than the first half. I think until the moment that Michael goes off the pitch. I think Ashley Young was man of the match I think the decision was right; he was very good and involved with all three very important goals. He did his job as the left winger, when he was a left midfielder he let in a goal, but OK I can forgive him.
We have made already big steps in the last six games, after the defeat against Arsenal it was very difficult for my team to stand up and maintain our confidence in the philosophy and I have to say all the credit to the players because they have to do it under the expectations of the fans because the fans were expecting today that we would win. It is not so easy and you have seen the stress of the players in the first 15 minutes.
Well I think that they played very well after the first 20 minutes, when we played well and we scored a goal and had two or three key chances to score but we didn’t. I think that the moment they equalised was a very special bit of play because it was one clearance from the goalkeeper Pablo Zabaletta fell asleep and they got the second goal.
From the moment they were drawing they started playing better I think that after that in the second half the third goal was a decisive moment because they were two goals in front and they were playing with a lot of trust. I repeat I don’t want to analyse the referees decisions they have to do their work, maybe the third goal was offside maybe one thing that happened during this game. Something similar happened in the last game but I am not talking about the referee.
We didn’t continue playing the way we started in the first 20 minutes we lost the match we could not continue playing, we came against a tough Manchester United so I do not think that analysis will be about the referee decisions. I think Fellaini had a very good moment I think Yaya marked him very well in the first half after that I repeat the third goal gave them more chance and we had to take more risks and finally they won the game.
No I do not think there was a problem of pace with the United team I think what the problems were our mistakes for two of their goals, I believe we had a lot of chances at the beginning of the game, we didn’t score another goal. It is more easy for a team to play with more trust and more pace when you are two goals in front and you have the possession of the ball.
I repeat I don’t think that the most important thing is what happens with me, we have got six more games to be as close to the top of the table as we can.