Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was pleased with his side's performance against Chelsea despite going down to a 2-0 home defeat to the title challengers.
City skipper Richard Dunne gave the visitors the lead with a sixth-minute own goal, and Salomon Kalou's 53rd-minute strike proved enough to seal the three points.
But City were unfortunate not to draw level after dominating for the last 30 minutes of the first half, and Eriksson felt it was a vast improvement on last week's dismal 3-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Birmingham.
"I think we performed rather well," he said. "We played football and created chances, especially in the first half.
"Chelsea got the goal, which was important - although we scored it for them - but we then created two or three very good chances.
"You're never happy when you lose a football game, but I was really disappointed and unhappy a week ago when we lost without giving ourselves a chance to win the match.
"Today I think it was different because we tried all 90 minutes but after it's 2-0, it's very much uphill. It's not good to lose but if you have to lose, lose like we did today."
City's hopes of qualifying for Europe are almost over having now won just twice in their last 12 league games to slip to ninth in the Premier League table.
That wretched run has destroyed City's confidence over recent weeks but Eriksson feels the Blues should take heart from their display against Chelsea.
"If you can play football like that against a top team in the Premier League, even the world, then you know you can do things," he said.
"There are still five games to go and the important thing now is not to give up, and try to take as many points as possible. Then we will see what's happening and see where we are in the table.
"As long as it (European qualification) is possible, we have to believe it and we have to fight for it. I hope we have the same spirit and character next week as we did today."
Nedum Onuoha is out for next week's trip to Sunderland after being stretchered off with a shoulder injury midway through the second half and will join fellow defender Micah Richards on the sidelines.
"He's in hospital now and I don't have any answers but he'll probably be out for a while," said Eriksson.
"We're very short (in defence) so we'll have to see if we can take back a loan player."