"They were magnificent in the first-half but the name of the game when you're playing the big games is that there are moments when you have to defend and this was one of them," said Ferguson, delighted with his 2-1 win over bitter rivals Liverpool.
"Winning against Liverpool is important. It doesn't matter where you are in the league," he added.
But Mancini is loitering with intent in the background and adamant that Manchester City can still retain the title after beating Arsenal for the first time in 37 years on the road.
"I don't think we deserve to be seven points behind, but we are there and we need to play well. We have to keep strong if we want to have another chance," Mancini said.
"At this moment, United play very well, but the season is long. It is important for us to be there, close with them, and we will be ready the moment they lose points."