Pep Guardiola insists he was happy with his side's performance despite Jonjo Shevley's late strike for Newcastle United denying Manchester City all three points on Saturday.
City looked like they were heading for a slender win after Kevin De Bruyne's stunning 82nd-minute strike, but Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards to seal a 2-2 draw for Steve Bruce's side.
City were far from their fluid best at St James' Park and could end the day 11 points behind leaders Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp's side overcome Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.
Guardiola, though, felt his players performed well enough to have taken all three points.
"We played at a good level," he said. "We moved well, we created enough chances – unfortunately that happens [Shelvey's goal]. In general, we played good. I think we played at the level of last season."
Asked if he was frustrated by the perceived negative tactics of the hosts, Guardiola responded: "It's what we have lived with for the last four years – it's always like this. We found a way today but at the end we conceded a goal."
Despite the gap to leaders Liverpool, defender John Stones says City have no intention of throwing in the towel in their bid for a third consecutive title.
"From elation to deflation; it's a difficult one to take," he said.
"It's still on because we will still fight until the last day like we did last season. The spirit has always got to be there because anything can happen in any game."