MAROUANE FELLAINI was sent off in disgrace at the Etihad after headbutting Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.
He sent Aguero sprawling before planting his nut on him — right in front of ref Martin Atkinson.
Fellaini then confronted the fourth official as he reluctantly left the pitch.
United legend Gary Neville branded Fellaini a fool, and the midfielder could now face FA action after his antics.
Neville said: “Aguero’s played him there like a fool. What is he doing?
“Before that he’s just taken the yellow card for stopping the counter attack.
“I think he’s furious because what he’s done is that he’s given the foul away and there is an incident we haven’t seen.
“He’s snapped Fellaini, he needed to get off the pitch.
“I couldn’t praise Fellaini enough for his performance on Sunday at Burnley and I think tonight he’s done a good job for the team.
“He’s now left his team with ten minutes to go, maybe more, with a lot of work to do.”
It was the eighth dismissal in Manchester derbies in the Premier League era — with seven of those United players, while it was Fellaini’s fourth red in English football.
Former top Prem ref Mark Halsey added: “It’s a clear red card.
“The Manchester United midfielder has done it right in front of the referee and can have no complaints.
“Martin has no other option but to issue the red card for violent conduct.
“But Aguero has caused the situation. Why did he go up to Fellaini in the first place?
“Why not just move away — he should never have got involved.
“Fellaini will also face an FA charge for failing to leave the field of play having been dismissed.”
The Belgian will now miss the games against Swansea, Arsenal and Tottenham — and maybe more after the FA receive an account of the clash with the fourth official.
The result left United fifth in the Prem — still one place behind City.
But United’s Michael Carrick insisted: “It’s a point gained for us. We would have loved to come here and won.
“We aimed to do that at the start and catch them on the break.
“We did have a couple of chances and we had to defend for large spells in the game. Overall we did that very well apart from the end when there was a bit of excitement and a flurry but we saw the game out very well. It’s a bit more difficult when you go down to ten.
“There wasn’t too long left but when six minutes go up it’s an awful long time to see out. We managed to do that.”
City skipper Vincent Kompany, an international team-mate of Fellaini, said: “I’m not getting involved. He’s my team-mate ultimately.
“Whether he is red or blue I support him in every way.”
The flashpoint came at the end of a game of few chances with City’s best falling to Aguero early on when he hit a post from close in, while United’s Ander Herrera missed a sitter with the goal at his mercy.
The Blues thought they had won the game in added time when sub Gabriel Jesus – back after two months out injured – netted, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Chelsea legend turned TV pundit Frank Lampard said: “I’m slightly disappointed by both teams.
“With City they had defensive problems early on but once they started to take a hold of the game they had a lot of possession but it was quite slow and deliberate and allowed United to get back and defend deep.
“There were a few injections from Aguero and Yaya Toure bursting through or a quick pass but not enough for me.
“And with United they got behind the City defence a few times early on.”