Van Persie delighted with derby winner

Robin van Persie hailed his late winner as a special way to win the Manchester derby.

The Dutchman's deflected injury-time free-kick earned United a 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium after City had come back from 2-0 down.

Wayne Rooney's first-half double put the visitors in command, but goals from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta got City back on terms.

"We had a really good start, because of Wayne two really good, clinical finishes," Van Persie said on Sky Sports 1.

"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."

Rooney praised his team-mate, saying: "We work on that on the training ground and I had no doubt he could score from there."

The win moved United six points clear of City at the top of the table and ended the hosts' long unbeaten home record.

"To go six points clear, to beat our closest rivals, we're delighted. We're going to celebrate."

The match ended amid unsavoury scenes with Rio Ferdinand appearing to be hit by a missile thrown from the crowd and suffering a cut to his face.

But Van Persie felt the game was played in a good spirit.

"I think it was a great atmosphere, everyone was supporting their team. I missed the thing with Rio."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed his team were worthy winners.

"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," he said.

"It was a fantastic game, you couldn't take you eyes off that."

United had an Ashley Young goal ruled out for offside shortly before City pulled their first goal back.

Asked if his side deserved the win, Ferguson added: "Absolutely. I think we played very well.

"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."

Ferguson also praised the overall contribution of Van Persie.

"It (the free-kick) got a little deflection, but it was a tremendous hit," he said. "He's kept them on the back foot the whole time."