Mark McCall was impressed by the intensity of a superb London derby as Billy Vunipola's try and 20 points from the boot of Owen Farrell gave Saracens a comeback 25-20 win at Harlequins.

The north Londoners maintained the bragging rights in a cagey game after Danny Care dotted down in the first half and Joe Marchant did the same in the second.

Six penalties and a conversion from Farrell were enough to see them over the line and put them level on points with Exeter at the top of the Gallagher Premiership table as the teams head into European action.

"We're really pleased with tonight because it was a game where we were dominant but had no control," said Saracens director of rugby McCall.

"I was thrilled with how we played in the last 20 minutes, I thought we played with superb intensity, great control from the half-backs, everybody was switched on and we deserved to win the game by more.

"They were never in our half, never had the ball in the last period and when we had to defend right at the end we did it incredibly well.

"They were incredibly physical today and they prevented us for 60 minutes getting any kind of ball, that was because of their physicality and organisation, so I was just pleased that we were able to match it.

"The try we scored to win the match was a wonderful try and it was the first time we actually got some really quick ball."

Marcus Smith opened the scoring with a 40-metre penalty, but Farrell levelled the score 20 minutes in with Saracens' first penalty of the day, then put them 6-3 up on the half-hour.

Smith levelled things and then Care, on his 250th Quins appearance, plotted and executed a wonderful interception to grab the game's first try.

England playmaker Farrell kicked two more penalties, but then Marchant struck, jumping into the air to claim and touch down a Smith penalty that had been caught in the wind.

Vunipola trundled over in the corner for Sarries' only try late on, leaving Quins attack coach Mark Mapletoft wondering what might have been.

He said: "It was a mixture of incredible pride and incredible frustration. I haven't seen us defend as well as that in a long, long time.

"They've pretty much clipped everyone this year pretty comfortably, so I'm proud of the defensive effort that they put in, but the frustration is that we lost the game.

"In terms of measuring ourselves against the very best it was a big step forward, but it just shows at key times we lacked composure.

"Today we were pitting ourselves against the best team in the competition and I thought we were magnificent."