Tony Pulis admitted his Crystal Palace players were not "at their maximum" in Sunday's 2-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City.
Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure scored first-half goals as City reassumed control of their own destiny in the title race on the back of leaders Liverpool losing to Chelsea.
Palace had won five games in a row prior to City's visit, but were unable to cause too many problems for Manuel Pellegrini's men.
"For us to win the game today, every player had to be at their best and you're hoping to catch Manchester City not at their best," said Pulis.
"You have to realise that playing against some teams it's not a level playing field.
"You have a look at the players they've got - Toure being fit (after a thigh problem) was a real big disappointment for me because I think he's a wonderful player and he can do things that can cause havoc.
"He showed glimpses today and when you think he's been out for three weeks and he's come in and done that, it's absolutely wonderful.
"Half the Palace players, they'd have to be honest and say that they never played at their maximum."
Fixtures at Selhurst Park - where Chelsea were beaten last month - could well prove pivotal in the destination of the Premier League trophy, and leaders Liverpool face a visit to Palace a week on Monday.
"There's another game against a fantastic football club in eight days' time," Pulis added.
"(It's) a night game and it will be a great atmosphere here and I just hope the players are on it and we give a real good show, put a real good show on."
|Coach: T. Pulis|
for M. Chamakh 69'
for C. Jerome 69'
for Y. Bolasie 73'
|Kenya 0 Ethiopia 0 (agg 0-2): Hosts sent out of CHAN qualifiers after second penalty miss|
|Dortmund put 17 past Olympians, Bremen hand out thrashing|
|Dinamo Zagreb confirm arrests of coach and club president|
|I didn´t know who Wimbledon guest Klopp was - Brown|
|LeBron James backs Liverpool captain Henderson for FIFA 16 cover.|
|Ramos: I am not negotiating with anyone|
|Valencia complete Mina swoop|
|United States v Japan: US seek final redemption|
|Hanousek consigns Celtic to defeat|
|Roma confirm Dzeko interest|
|Arsenal forward Podolski completes Galatasaray switch|
|Warm Dortmund welcome delights Tuchel|
|Silva vows to fight for Madrid place|
|Mancini hints at Shaqiri and Santon departures|
|Bojan raring to go after return from injury|
|Babel backs Firmino to shine at Liverpool|
|Falcao must wait to impress, warns Chelsea favourite|
|Bartomeu: Deal in place for Turan|
|Parejo re-signs with Valencia|
|MLS Review: Sounders return to winning ways|
|Klinsmann unhappy with USA performance|
|High hopes for Paraguay - Diaz|
|Gareca: More to come from Peru|
|Gerrard had European offers|
|Argentina out to spoil Chile´s party - Martino|
|Sampaoli: Chile won´t change style|
|Di Maria will come good at United - Rojo|
|Peru 2 Paraguay 0: Gareca´s men finish third at Copa|
|United States 4 Guatemala 0: Klinsmann´s men win comfortably|
|´I’d prefer no-one to know my name´ - Bassett|
|Matthews completes Sunderland move|
|Podolski set for Galatasaray medical|
|Gundogan inspires Dortmund victory|
|Inter confirm Montoya capture|
|Murillo joins Inter, as Kuzmanovic and Obi depart|
|Falcao signing not a risk, says former Chelsea star|
|Deeney agrees new Watford deal|
|Confidence and service the key to Falcao success at Chelsea|
|No bids for ´Chelsea target´ Baba, claim Augsburg|
|Derby swoop for Ince|
|Fiorentina consider legal action over Salah ´no-show´|
|Chelsea the team to beat in the Premier League, says Neville|
|Storari exits Juve for Cagliari|
|UEFA removes FFP restrictions on Man City and PSG|
|West Brom hope for new owners within the month|
|Chelsea agree loan deal for Falcao|
|Kuyt eyes trophies on Feyenoord return|
|Chile v Argentina: History beckons ahead of Copa America final|
|Wallace extends Monaco loan|
|Mihajlovic wants to instill fear factor at Milan|
|Mignolet improving at Liverpool - Grobbelaar|
|Mumbai City name Anelka player-manager|
|Olivia the parrot predicts Japan to win Women´s World Cup|
|Lusitans coach blasts Bilic´s ´lack of respect´|
|Sakho eyes more Europa League wins|
|Gareca wants Peru to keep building|
|Chile ´no chance´ if Argentina produce their best - Diaz|
|Ocampos joins Marseille permanently|
|Europa League Review: Cloud-nine Brondby ignite opening round|