Sir Alex Ferguson seemed to congratulate Roberto Mancini at the final whistle of Sunday’s Manchester derby, something which was to the Scot’s credit considering that he had just witnessed his team being demolished by Manchester City.
The three late goals from the visitors gave the 6-1 scoreline an unfair reflection, although it will matter little to the City supporters who have endured several derby defeats over the years and not experienced anything like this before.
After the match, Ferguson spoke of his dismay regarding the defeat, which saw his team control the game for 20 minutes before Mario Balotelli’s opening goal.
“It was our worst ever day,” said Ferguson.
“It’s the worst result in my history, ever. Even as a player I don’t think I ever lost 6-1. That’s challenge for me too.
“I can’t believe the scoreline. The first goal was a blow for sure but it was retrievable at 1-0.
“The sending off was a killer for us. We kept attacking when we went 4-1 down and we should have just said: ‘We’ve had our day.”‘
Jonny Evans’ sending off early in the second half seemed to change the game dramatically and City were able to attack with confidence, exploiting gaps that appeared in the United defence.
“We just kept attacking. They were attacking three versus two. It was crazy football,” he said.
“I thought with the experience we’ve got – Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra – they would (defend more) but we just kept attacking. Sometimes there has to be common sense about it.
“It was a bad day.”
Ferguson is backing his team to bounce back from that setback which has seen City go five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
“We’ll come back. By January we’ll be okay. We usually get the show on the road in the second half of the season and that will have to be the case,” he added.