Johnson's message post-match was that his teammates can take pride in their display - and he believes the performance proved Liverpool can compete with the best.
"We didn't deserve to lose that," Johnson told the Liverpool Echo. "The performance deserved at least a point. This is probably the most positive I've ever been after a defeat.
"There are not many teams that will come here and play like we did tonight. We proved we can compete with City. At times we dominated possession.
"Of course we came under pressure at times - that is going to happen when you are playing Manchester City at home - but we dealt with most things well.
"We played to our game plan almost perfectly. We just didn't get the points at the end of it. We had some really good chances and we are disappointed not to get anything from the game."