Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hit back at Sir Alex Ferguson after the Scot accused him of trying to influence officials during Manchester United's 1-0 derby defeat at Etihad Stadium.
The pair clashed and were kept apart by City coach David Platt and fourth official Mike Jones late on in the win that put Mancini's side back on top of the Premier League on goal difference with two games left.
Ferguson reacted angrily to City substitute Nigel de Jong's challenge on Danny Welbeck - but found an equally robust response from Mancini, who met his counterpart head on and gestured in his direction.
United boss Ferguson said: "He [Mancini] refereed the game right the way through. He was haranguing the officials. He can't complain about referees any more."
Mancini delivered a heavily sarcastic response as he said: "And him? He doesn't talk with the referees or fourth officials - never. I spoke with the fourth official and then Ferguson told me some kind words. I don't know why.
"I answered him but I can understand because at this moment the passion was high."
City captain Vincent Kompany was delighted to score the winner but insisted that the title has not been decided yet.
The Belgium international defender said: "We are absolutely buzzing. We've been waiting for this moment. But it is far from over.
"To give our fans two wins over Manchester United is great but now we need to finish it off.
"I remember someone texting me and saying I would score the winning goal and I thought he was a lunatic."