Sir Alex Ferguson told Roberto Mancini that Manchester United were a superior side to Manchester City because they excel at beating the rest.
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The City manager had claimed United are not better than his team, who won at Old Trafford a fortnight ago. But after clinching United's 20th league title and his own 13th, Ferguson, whose team are 13 points clear, said there is a gulf between them and that derbies have proved a great leveller.
"I read his quote, he is right in one respect," he said. "The games between us, there is nothing in it. But the rest of we are far better and he doesn't recognise that we are better than Manchester City at beating other teams."
The two Manchester clubs have only been separated by one goal in recent meetings, apart from City's 6-1 victory at Old Trafford in October 2011.
And Ferguson added: "When the two teams meet there's nothing in it. The derby teams bring two teams to a level. It always brings them together. Apart from that stupid performance of ours at Old Trafford which costs us the league really, we won't make that mistake again."
United are on course to break a club record for the number of points in a season and, if they win their final four games, will overhaul the current Premier League record of 95 in a season.
And Ferguson feels that if his side end the campaign on 96, this United team will bear comparison with its predecessors. "It must," he added. "We have not got 84 points with four games left. We have never done that.
"We have had some fantastic players in the past and we are not trying to minimise their impact. The nostalgia thing does play tricks. You play tricks with yourself. But these players have joined that pedestal."