Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admitted his side were beaten by the better team in their 3-0 defeat at Manchester City.
An early free-kick by Aleksandr Kolarov followed by second-half strikes from Sergio Aguero and James Milner was enough for City to end the Black Cats unbeaten start to the season.
And O'Neill was complimentary about the Premier League champions while acknowledging his team did not help themselves at times.
"They are a very fine side," he said. "Initially we didn't help matters, couldn't keep the ball too well, but we were beaten by a much better side.
"I thought we should have done better in the first-half period. We had opportunities, but we gave the ball away too easily, having said that at half-time we were still in the game but we were well beaten in the second half.
"While the game was still 1-0 we were still in with a chance but the more you press forward the more gaps you leave and they are more equipped than anyone to deal with that."