Vincent Kompany believes that Manchester City overcame strong Merseyside ties to take control of the Premier League title race at Everton.
Edin Dzeko notched a brace as City secured a gripping 3-2 win to edge ahead of their opponents' local rivals Liverpool on goal difference at the top of the table.
An Everton victory would have left Liverpool well placed to secure a first championship for 24 years, leading to suggestions of mixed emotions in the Goodison Park stands on Saturday.
That was certainly not the case on the field as Everton threw everything at City in a thrilling finale, but saw their hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification ended.
"It was hard and very intense as well - I was thinking that the Everton players have got a lot of friends at Liverpool," Kompany joked when interviewed by Sky Sports after the match.
"It was tough and we ultimately got a great result."
Sergio Aguero cancelled out Ross Barkley's superb opening strike to set City on their way to ending a run of four straight defeats at Goodison - a streak their captain attributed to Everton's competitive spirit and a lack of luck.
"To be honest we've not had a lot of great results but we've never really had too many bad games either," Kompany said.
"It's just one of those places. When we take the lead it's never finished - they always find a way to make it difficult and they always find a way to score a goal that put them back in the game.
"Today was the same. I thought until the last minute both teams had to keep giving everything they had to keep in the game."
City have passed up a handful chances to take a firm hold on the title race since February's 1-0 home loss to Chelsea, seemingly in the most damaging fashion when they slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Liverpool three weeks ago.
Now wins in back-to-back home games against Aston Villa and Chelsea next week will give them a second Premier League crown in three seasons.
But the dramatic manner in which his team clinched glory against struggling QPR in 2012 means Kompany knows nothing can be taken for granted.
He added: "We've had a lot of tough times during the season but I think that we've had a lot of wonderful games.
"The most important thing is to pick up the form at the right time and if we can carry on like this in the next two games, hopefully it should be enough to win those two games.
"I guess the past will tell us to be careful."