Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew says Manchester City are the best team his side have faced this season.
The Magpies were beaten 2-0 by City at St James' Park on Sunday - putting Roberto Mancini's men on the brink of their first top-flight league title win since 1968.
The result also means Newcastle have to win away at Everton in their final game of the campaign to stand any chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
After Sunday's game, Pardew said: "They looked at their best when they'd scored. Up until that point we kept them very quiet."
"Their back four was as strong as we've played against, and if I'm honest, they're the best team we've played this year."
Newcastle are now two points behind third placed Arsenal, and a point behind fourth placed Tottenham after both London clubs recorded only a point at the weekend.
On his side's chances of finishing in the top four, Pardew said: "There's a simple equation - we have to win at Everton, which might not be enough. But that's what we need to do."
Get the latest scores and updates from today's football fixtures
Kader Mangane has joined Sunderland on loan until the end of the season
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has spoken about the club's newest recruit - Alfred N'Diaye