Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini praised his side for their efforts in the 3-0 loss at home to Arsenal, in a game which saw Dedryck Boyata sent off after just five minutes.
The Citizens were always up against it after Boyata was dismissed for a professional foul on Marouane Chamakh, with the Gunners easing to victory thanks to goals from Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner.
An upbeat Mancini said:"It is a situation that can happen. It was a bad result because we lost, but after the sending-off everything changes.
"I think against Arsenal it is difficult to play 11 versus 11. Ten against 11 is worse, but it is my opinion that we if played 11 against 11 we would have won this game.
"It is important we had the mentality during the game that we always tried to play.
"I am very proud of my players because we showed we are one of the best teams in the Premier League.
"They played like a strong team, they played well. We lost, but the way ahead is long."
Of Boyata red card, Mancini added:"I do not agree with the referee. I thought the rule is always the last man, if there is a clear opportunity to score a goal, it is a red card.
"But I think when Chamakh touched the ball, the ball was probably going out or on the way to the keeper."