Roberto Mancini hailed his band of brothers defence for the rearguard action that allowed captain Carlos Tevez to snatch a priceless victory over runaway free-scoring Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Tevez fired his fourth goal of the campaign in the second half to wreck the champions' unbeaten start to the defence of the League crown Blues boss Mancini suspects they will wear again come next May.
But it was the central partnership of Kolo Toure and man-of-the-match Vincent Kompany, flanked by ever-reliable Pablo Zabaleta and emergency right-back Dedryck Boyata, who took a well-earned salute.
Mancini said: "Our four defenders played like four brothers - they were so compact and strong, and it wasn't easy. If you let Chelsea have space they will score goals, but we defender very, very well today.
"And Carlos is a fantastic striker, and not just because he has scored our goal. He fights against two players every time for every ball."
The Blues boss added: "It's impossible to win every game, and it is not possible to score four or five goals every game, but I think that Chelsea are still the best team.
I'm happy today, and I will be happy tomorrow, but then it is Monday and we must plan for the next game
"Just because we won this doesn't mean everything is OK. We must work and improve every week, and this can help us."
City's manager had a post-whistle hug and words of consolation for Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, his friend and former team-mate - the pair now have eight victorieds apiece in their managerial duels.
Mancini smiled: "Carlo is one of the best managers in the world. I'm happy for us and sorry for him today, but he can't always win!"