Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said he was pleased with way his new-look side had played in their 2-0 defeat at home to Premier League champions Manchester City.
Pardew handed debuts to five players, and singled out former Montpellier schemer Remy Cabella for praise.
He told Sky Sports: "It was frustrating for us, because in the second half we really pushed on up and put some younger players on, who were a bit naive at times but who threatened with their pace. But we just couldn't get that equaliser.
"I feel that, if we could have got we could have gone on to win it because we looked like we had more legs in the team.
"We were brave, we went for it and there were some outstanding performances. All the players were solid and Remy gave us some moments around the box that we haven't had for a long time."
The Magpies boss said his side had faced the toughest possible opening day test, explaining: "I honestly feel we have come up against individuals today who we are not going to see every week.
"Some of their play is outstanding, and you have only got to see it close up to know the quality of [Samir] Nasri and Silva, the power of Yaya Toure, and [Edin] Dzeko up front is a real handful, and I thought we coped with it as well as we could.
"When you play the top teams, you need a break -- there's no doubt about that.
"Whenever I have won against the top sides, you get a break in the game, and that didn't happen for us today. We didn't get a ricochet or something that fell our way.
"But I am as pleased as I can be with a 2-0 defeat."