West Brom spirit pleases Clarke
Manuel Pellegrini's side arrived at the Hawthorns with one win and four defeats from their previous six Premier League matches on the road, but they claimed a deserved 2-0 lead at the break via goals from Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure.
The hosts acquitted themselves well following the restart and, after Toure had extended City's lead from the penalty spot, Costel Pantilimon's own goal and substitute Victor Anichebe's first strike for Albion gave West Brom some reward.
Clarke believed that there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.
"They're a really, really good team," he said of City. "We wanted to stay in the game as long as possible but they managed to get themselves away with the two goals in the first half.
"That makes it difficult when you're playing against a good team because you can risk a little, but if you risk too much you end up getting serious damage to your goal difference.
"We tried our best to get back into the game in the second half. I think even in the first half we had some moments and opportunities where we could have created something but didn't quite.
"It was a game where it had to go 2-1, at any stage in the second half, and that would have given us a fighting chance.
"The third goal with the penalty was a bad goal to concede and that more or less killed it.
"But credit to our players because we kept going and we got our reward at the end with two late goals which, in my opinion, puts a fair reflection on the balance of the play."