Sven Goran Eriksson paid tribute to Richard Dunne after the Manchester City skipper's inspired display in the victory over Manchester United.
Dunne only declared himself fit to play on the morning of the game after being kept out of training and away from the team hotel due to tonsillitis.
But the Republic of Ireland international produced an outstanding performance as City won at the home of their bitter rivals for the first time since 1974.
The match was preceded by an immaculately observed minute's silence in memory of the 23 people who lost their lives during the Munich air disaster.
Darius Vassell and new signing Benjani Mwaruwari were on target for Eriksson's men, but it was the display of captain Dunne which most impressed the Swede.
Eriksson said: "Richard Dunne had tonsillitis, so his performance was impeccable, just like the fans.
"As the captain he was excellent. He did not train on Saturday or come to the hotel the evening before the game.
"He just arrived at 10am on Sunday. The doctors took care of him, in effect he came straight from his bed to Old Trafford to play, amazing."
Dunne brushed aside the praise, claiming: "I hadn't been too well but I had every intention of playing in this one."
And while hailing Dunne's contribution to City's first victory at Old Trafford in 34 years, Eriksson was full of praise for the striker he hopes will have a major impact on the club.
Eriksson said: "Benjani can take us into Europe. He has the technique, the pace and can keep the ball up in attack. He also scores goals. He will be very important for us as we aim for Europe.
"It was the right time for him to show it. He is the perfect player for the system we play, and he will help us reach Europe.
"Let's hope he stays fit and can play in all the games, he has great attitude and is great value for money."