Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Manchester United's display in Saturday's derby as the best of his tenure against Manchester City, despite a tedious 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
The Manchester rivals looked every inch the seventh and eighth best teams in the Premier League over the course of a cagey affair, with each side managing a shot apiece on target in either half.
United thought they would have a chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot early in the second half after Kyle Walker brought down Marcus Rashford, but replays showed the England forward was offside before being fouled.
United beat City in three of their four meetings last season, including both Premier League matches, but Solskjaer lavished praise on what his players produced on the back of their chastening Champions League exit against RB Leipzig.
"In my time against Manchester City that's the best performance we have had. Not the best result but the best performance," he told Sky Sports.
"It was a tight game. I know we beat them a few times last season but those were different games. They had a few big moments.
"It's two good teams. Tactically we knew they were going to give us some problems but defensively we were excellent.
"I'm delighted with the defensive shape. With the ball we didn't create as much as we wanted to."
2 - Manchester United won both Premier League meetings with Manchester City last season – they last won three in a row in the competition against their local rivals between November 2008-April 2010 (four wins). Bragging. pic.twitter.com/zG8xhKekbH— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 12, 2020
Despite Rashford being pulled back by VAR, Solskjaer felt City arguably had the better chances - such as when Kevin De Bruyne found Riyad Mahrez before half-time, only for the Algeria winger to hesitate, cut inside and have his shot blocked.
"They probably had the bigger moments in open play. Everyone should be happy with a draw," he added.
"It is a mental challenge when that happens to you [going out of Champions League].
"The mental energy you spend trying to recover from Tuesday is huge."