Goals Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure ensured a stroll for City.
"I think we might have struggled against that Manchester City side even with my best team," said Pardew.
"Kompany gives them an assurance and a presence at the back that they might have been missing in other games.
"I don't think City are going to win the league and in the first half they had an assurance about them that comes from playing with no pressure."
The same cannot be said of Newcastle. Whilst Thursday's Europa League quarter-final with Benfica sprinkles some stardust on their season, the spectre of relegation is growing.
The Magpies are now just three points above the drop zone and Pardew accepts they have some scrapping ahead of them if his side are to preserve their top-flight status.
"I don't think we ever thought we were out of it," said Pardew.