Roberto Mancini refused to accept Manchester City are now favourites for the title despite defeating and overtaking Manchester United in Monday's intense derby.
It was cagey rather than classic at the Etihad Stadium in what had been described as the biggest fixture in Premier League history.
But Vincent Kompany's header in first-half injury time gave City the points which allowed them to leapfrog United at the top of the table on goal difference.
Mancini has always tried to take the pressure off his squad by playing down their title credentials, having already seen them blow the lead earlier in the season.
And even with just two games left in the campaign, at Newcastle next weekend before hosting QPR on the final day, the Italian did not budge from that stance.
He told Sky Sports 1HD: "We are happy, but I think that next Sunday we will have another difficult game.
"I think we deserved to win this game. We scored. We played well and had the chance to score the second goal.
"I don't think that they had the chance to score.
"It was a difficult game, because United are a top team. We know this."
Tempers flared in the second half when Mancini was involved in a touchline spat with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson regarding a difference of opinion at a foul involving Nigel De Jong and Danny Welbeck.
Ferguson appeared to shout at Mancini, but the City boss did not hold a grudge, as he explained: "I can understand, because at that moment the tension is high."
Who was Manchester City's man of the match in their crucial win over Manchester United?