Tevez took exception to Neville's pre-match suggestion that Sir Alex Ferguson was right to move the striker on in the summer, and duly plundered both goals in a 2-1 win for City.
After the Agrentine drilled home the penalty to pull his side level Tevez spotted Neville warming up on the touchline and promptly gestured at the full-back to keep his mouth shut.
Neville's response was to flip Tevez a middle finger, a gesture that may land Neville in hot water with the FA.
Exchange: Tevez (right) gestures to Neville (left) to keep his mouth shut while the United man flips his former team-mate the middle finger
Zabaleta said: 'One Manchester United player talked about Carlos before the game so he showed he is top class, a top player. He is amazing, everyone knows Carlos is a great player. Everyone loves him.
'This was a special game for him, one he has been dreaming about.
'I am aware of his qualities and think he can give a repeat performance against United next week.'
Tevez's manager, meanwhile, was equally full-hearty in his praise for the striker who has notched 17 times this seaosn.
'I am happy Carlos plays for us because he is a top player,' said Mancini. 'He is an ex-Manchester United player so the game was very important for him. To score two goals was excellent.
Paying the penalty: Tevez lashes home from the spot to draw City level
'I only hope that he plays the same way in the second game.'
The exchange of gestures was all rather unedifying, even if it added to the sense of occasion which, once Tevez had nodded home Vincent Kompany's cross, left Mancini believing his side just have the edge despite falling behind to Ryan Giggs' early opener.
'It is not a big advantage, but it is an advantage,' said Mancini. 'I am happy with the result because we were behind after 20 minutes and I felt it could be difficult. But we recovered, scored two goals and played well.
'They had three or four chances but, in Shay Given, we have one of the best goalkeepers.
'Now I would say we have a 51% chance.'
Ferguson stared impassively ahead as Tevez was making his point. But he insisted there was no problem with his former player.
'It is just the way these things happen,' he said. 'Football can be like that. It can bite you.
'We have had a few players leave the club and score against us. There is no issue. I am happy with the players we have got.'
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