Stewart Downing felt that West Ham United could have got something out of their clash with Manchester City on Saturday, had they performed in the first half as they did in the second.
The Hammers trailed to Sergio Aguero's 16th-minute strike at the break, and only really came to life after the forward had doubled both his and City's tally six minutes after the restart.
Ricardo Vaz Te's overhead kick kept the game alive and it was not until ten minutes from time that David Silva made the game safe for Manuel Pellegrini's men and Downing was encouraged by the second half performance.
"First and foremost, Man City are a top team," he said. "I thought that in the first half we maybe showed them a little too much respect, although you could see in the goal the quality that they have.
"In the second half, we probably left it a bit late, but after the second goal we started to play and believe in ourselves. That's what will frustrate the mananger and the players, that we left it too late on Saturday.
"We got plenty of balls into the box in the second half, got a good goal back and I thought we had the momentum. But then Man City hit us on the break and scored a quality goal to wrap it up."
Aguero had a hand in all three goals, scoring the first two before laying on the third for David Silva and Downing thought the attacking pair made the difference for the visitors.
He added: "Aguero is certainly a top player. Silva was very good too and you can go throughout the team, they're strong. Look at the bench and the players they can bring on.
"We held our own in the second half and could maybe have got a draw out of it."