Pep Guardiola praised West Ham's performance after Manchester City bowed out of the Carabao Cup on penalties at London Stadium on Wednesday night, but claimed his side would be back for the trophy next season.
The Cityzens are always the team to beat in the League Cup, having won it four times in a row, but their rotated side couldn't find a way past a resolute Hammers side in normal time before the game went to penalties.
Phil Foden missed his spot kick and each of the Irons' takers were on target, dumping the holders out of the competition at the fourth round.
Praising West Ham, Guardiola said: “Not just this season, the previous one (too). One of the toughest games we played at home when one side was better than us last season was West Ham.
“They’re doing well in the Premier League and the Europa League and now they are in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
“(They are a) fantastic team, (and have a) fantastic manager. We knew it. We did our game. I didn’t see the stats, but I thought we did a good game."
On the game, Guardiola was content with the way his side performed. City had 25 attempts at goal - seven on target - but couldn't find a way past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who made a terrific stop to prevent John Stones from netting. Nathan Ake and Ilkay Gundogan also missed good openings.
“An incredible run has finished (but) we finished in a good way," Guardiola added. “We played in a really good way, creating chances against a team who defended deep.
“On penalties they were better. Congratulations to West Ham. Next year we will be back.”
City are back in action on Saturday when they host Crystal Palace, with a Champions League fixture against Club Bruges to come the following week.