Sir Alex Ferguson praised Manchester United's "ghost" for raising their spirits in the Barclays Premier League title race.

Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes celebrated the signing of a one-year extension to his contract with a dramatic winner in the derby against Manchester City. Three minutes into stoppage time he got on the end of a cross from Patrice Evra to flick a header beyond goalkeeper Shay Given.

Ferguson said: "It was an amazing finish. We have three last-minute goals against them now (this season) but deserve it.

He added: "We had the best chances but it did not look like anyone was going to win. The game became very open in the last 10 minutes.

"That gave us the chance to get players forward and there is none better at that than Scholes. I'd almost given up and thought it would be 0-0. You know with us it's happened so many times we score late and you always hope it will happen again.

"I decided to put Scholes a bit further forward and it paid off. No-one is better than him at ghosting into the box. There was no-one near him and it was a free header.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini maintains they can still clinch a Champions League place.

He said: "We did not deserve to lose this game. I am disappointed we lost it in the last second. Scholes scored a good goal but probably we should have paid more attention and not lost the ball.

"I am sorry for my players and the supporters but we played a good game. It does not change anything because we can still get fourth position.

"We have four difficult games left and the crucial one will be when we meet Tottenham at home (on May 5). We will fight until the end. We have been very unlucky against United and I think we have improved from the last time we met them."

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