Ferguson: This was our worst day
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson pulled no punches as he reflected on the "worst result in my history" after being humiliated 6-1 by Manchester City.
City, the Barclays Premier League leaders, stormed into Old Trafford to thrash 10-man United and send out an ominous warning to their title rivals. It was United's heaviest derby defeat since 1926, their first loss at home in 18 months and left them trailing City by five points in the table.
Ferguson told Sky Sports: "It was our worst ever day. It's the worst result in my history, ever. Even as a player I don't think I ever lost 6-1. That's a challenge for me too."
He added: "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'."
Controversial City striker Mario Balotelli, after waking to more negative headlines following a fire in his house, began the rout with a first-half opener. He was then the man fouled as Jonny Evans earned a straight red card and added a second before Sergio Aguero slid in the third.
Darren Fletcher pulled one back but Edin Dzeko came off the bench to score twice as City ran their hosts ragged in the closing minutes with David Silva also hitting the target.
Ferguson's opposite number Roberto Mancini hailed the result as a landmark in his club's progress but believes his side can improve further despite taking their points tally to 25 in nine games with 33 goals scored. The Italian said: "I'm satisfied because we beat United away and I don't think there are a lot of teams that could win here.
"I think this game is important because we beat them at Old Trafford but not for the 6-1. This is important for our supporters and maybe for the goals in the table. I am happy with the three points.
"But I think we need to improve more if we want to stay on the top a long time. We need to work more."