Steve Evans said he was an “emotional man” after winning his first game in charge of Leeds.
The Scot picked up three points at the fourth time of asking as Alex Mowatt’s wonder strike saw off Cardiff 1-0.
It was also a first victory for United over City since April 1984 - when none of their match day squad were born - and a first win at home since March.
“At the end of the game I was quite an emotional man, I was welling up,” Evans said.
“If I achieve nothing else I have won a game in charge of a famous football club at Elland Road.”
Evans saw his birthday ruined last Thursday as Leeds lost 2-0 at home to Blackburn on a night he had predicted would be a pinnacle in his career.
But Mowatt’s strike meant the former Rotherham boss was able to have some belated celebrations.
“We were all down after the Blackburn game,” he said.
“It was the worst birthday I have had. I then spoke to the players about having some passion and drive.
“I’ve always had a phrase that if two teams turn up with equal ability then it’s passion and drive that wins football matches.
“I’m very proud now. I was so down after last Thursday but had to lift them and I told them the minimum we needed was effort.”
Evans has spoken regularly about the need for Leeds to address their woeful home record and he was glad to deliver a positive result at the 13th time of asking under three difference managers.
“I spoke to a supporter beforehand who told me he walks four miles to home matches and how it’s a long walk home for him, he was almost in tears,” Evans said.
“The statisticians will have to find someone else to write about now.”
On Mowatt’s goal, a return to form for the left-footer after an inconsistent couple of months, Evans added: “I think it was a special goal worthy of winning any match.
“I have seen Alex score from that kind of range with ease with such quality as an opposition manager and I told him at half-time to take one on. Alex is on the way back up.”
Cardiff manager Russell Slade - who saw his side create little and lose a six-game unbeaten run - did not attend the post-match press conference.