Football: Ugly scenes greeted the final whistle at the end of an enthralling derby at Eastlands after Robin van Persie’s injury-time free-kick moved Manchester United six points clear of neighbours Manchester City.
Wayne Rooney’s first-half brace for the Reds moved the England striker ahead of Sir Bobby Charlton as the leading scorer in this fixture with 10 goals.
But the Citizens fought back in the second-half through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta before van Persie secured the points for the visitors two minutes into injury time sparking chaotic scenes behind the goal.
Blue flares were thrown by the home crowd with some fans making their way onto the pitch to confront both the players and the travelling away support.
In the melee defender Rio Ferdinand was bloodied and received treatment for an injury to the eye.
United manager Alex Ferguson said: “We were determined to win today, but it’s unfortunate towards the end that a City fan runs on and throws coins at our players. I don’t think you need that.”
Roberto Mancini added: “I didn’t see what happened. We have a fantastic support, but can’t do what someone did because it’s not good.”
But the incidents shouldn’t detract from what was a fantastic game that gives United a stranglehold on the league during the hectic Christmas period.
And Ferguson was even more thrilled with the win as it ended City’s unbeaten run that dated back to a 2-1 defeat by Everton in December 2010.
He said: “Today was a special one simply because they haven’t lost at home for two years.
“Both of us are contending the top of the league and it was a fantastic game — you couldn’t take your eyes of it.
For Mancini the defeat left it hard to sum up his emotions. With a dejected look on his face he claimed: “It’s words I can’t say. It’s bad, a bad feeling at this moment. It is normal when you lose a derby in the last second — very difficult.”