Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reflected on the 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford with satisfaction.
The Red Devils cemented their lead at the summit of the Premier League with goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic either side of half-time.
Brendan Rodgers' visitors were galvanised by the introduction of recent arrival Daniel Sturridge, who halved the lead with a close-range goal that set up a nervy final half-hour - but Ferguson's men stood firm to take the points.
"I would have taken that score before the game," said the United boss. "The first-half performance, and until we scored the second goal, was absolutely brilliant.
"It was as good a performance as we have had for a long time and we should have been three or four up but when they got their goal they got inspired by it.
"Their supporters got going and it was hard work after that. I am just glad we won the match. I haven't seen the (Liverpool) goal again but it looked a bit soft; once again the keeper has parried one out and nobody is following in the rebound.
"It lifted them. Some of our defending after that was a bit erratic and even desperate at times. But we managed to get through it. The last three or four minutes they were shoving players into the box and there was some interchange play we had to deal with.
"The name of the game is winning. There are moments where you have to defend. Today was one of them."
what do you think?
Since when is Liverpool v's united been a derby? We are Liverpool which is not in Manchester and we are the most succesfull team in england *****
Actually u will find the only thing Liverpool has been more successful over the years is by winning the champions league more, United has equalled or beaten Liverpool's record domestically. Plus they are referring to it being the north west derby. Not a Manchester derby.
Most successful team in england I doubt that! We won it 19 times remember and it's gonna be 20 this year, so we have more premierships and FA cups than liverpool the only thing you have more is 2 European cups! Plus Man U vs liverpool is a merseyside derby and has been since the industrial revolution.