New Hammers boss David Moyes decided to give Rice his chance at the Etihad Stadium as his prepared to sit back and defend against the league leaders.
Rice and his team-mates did enough to go one-nil up but they were eventually beaten 2-1, after a late strike from midfielder David Silva.
While they were unable to get a result, the Hammers have been praised for their defending and Rice insists he learned a lot from the experience.
He told the club's official website: "I’m loving training under David Moyes and his coaches. To get the start here, I never thought it would happen. Luckily, with the injuries, he’s believed in me and he has put me in, and I was happy with my performance.
"I’m only 18-years-old so to test yourself against the likes of Aguero, De Bruyne, Jesus and Silva, I’m only going to learn and get better from it. Today was a fantastic experience for me."