Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to Newcastle United for being 'so strong' after the Magpies proved a 'tough opponent' for his Man City side.
The newly-crowned champions had to twice come from behind to beat the spirited Magpies in a remarkable seven-goal thriller at St James' Park on Friday night.
City may have made five changes, and only had one training session ahead of the game, but Newcastle supporters rightly took encouragement from their side's performance in the 4-3 defeat.
Newcastle carried a threat on the counter-attack and became the first team to score three goals with as little as 17.7% of the ball in a Premier League match since Opta started recording possession data.
City's own quality in the final third told - hat-trick hero Ferran Torres was a class above - but Guardiola was keen to highlight Newcastle's strengths after the game.
"We have to understand how we play, against 10 players in the box, because they defend so deep," he told BBC Sport. "Physically, they are so strong.
"Newcastle was always 5-3-2 and everybody was there. Joelinton, Maximilian [Saint-Maximin], Willock...they are so fast. Even Almiron. So it's a tough opponent. We knew it.
"Even with that, I think we attacked good in the pockets. We were pushing.
"Yeah, we conceded three goals from set-pieces and you have to improve on that."