The 50-year-old admitted it wasn't his side's day as unbeaten run comes to an end at the Etihad Stadium, although he was pleased with the display of Hatem Ben Arfa
Two late first-half goals from Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards, followed by a Sergio Aguero penalty in the second secured the win, before Dan Gosling's late finish was to provide little more than scant consolation.
The Toon nearly took the lead through Demba Ba but a good save from Joe Hart denied them and Pardew conceded it was one of those days for his side.
The 50-year-old told reporters: “I thought we had situations in the game where it could’ve been a different afternoon.
"We had two big chances at 0-0 and when you are playing a side as powerful as Man City, and the showed how powerful they are today, you need breaks to go your way and I don’t think we had any break in the game and it fell against us at key moments and that was probably decisive.
“Once they got the two goals there was a confident air about them and they made it difficult but again we rallied and had a big, big chance at 2-0 and if that had gone in then maybe the mood in the stadium would have changed but it didn’t really go for us today.”
The two teams went into the game at the Etihad Stadium as the only sides not to have lost a game this season and Pardew admitted genuine disappointment that his players came away with nothing, ending their unbeaten start.
He added: “It’s certainly not a relief [for the unbeaten run to end], I was frustrated at the end. Nothing seemed to go for us and it was one of those days.
“No Cheikh [Tiote] here today, no Obertan and when you play the top teams you want all of your players available and you’ve got to have your best team and certainly against these.
“I make no bones about it, they’re the best side that we’ve played by some distance from what I’ve seen today; very, very powerful.
“25 points from 12 games speaks for itself. We’re a good side but how we’re going to evolve and how we’re going to deal with disappointment like today is still unanswered but the dressing room after was one of disappointment.
“There was genuine disappointment that we didn’t get something out of the game.”
The Englishman highlighted one positive from the game as the performance of Hatem Ben Arfa, stating that although he recently recovered from a broken-leg, his display was on par with some of City's stars.
He said: “I thought that some of the ideas that the Manchester City players present you with and their flair makes it very difficult for your defenders and Hatem was at that level today.
“I thought he created one or two things, burst away from players and kept hold of possession and to think it was only a year ago that he had that really terrible injury, you have to say it was a really grand performance by him and he should be proud of that.”