Liverpool do not have the “fear factor” that Manchester City and Manchester United possess, according to Stuart Pearce.
Jurgen Klopp’s inability to clinch victory against Newcastle United on Sunday means they have won just once in seven games across all competitions since the international break, despite a promising start to the season that included a 4-0 win over Arsenal.
The Reds have been unable to replicate their initial ruthlessness in front of goal and it was an all-too familiar sight at St James’ Park as they missed a host of chances and allowed a one-goal lead to slip thanks to another shambolic defensive error.
In the Reds’ last five Premier League and Champions League matches, they have attempted a total of 115 shots, yet only managing to score eight.
Both Manchester teams, in contrast, have started the season perfectly and have been free-scoring teams, unbeaten in seven games and netting a combined total of 43 goals each and Pearce believes that is what separates the Reds from the best.
“I just think they’re not finishing teams off,” said Pearce.
“They’ve had a superiority of possession in the games but they’re just not finishing teams off.
“Maybe that little air of vulnerability that other teams coming into the game to face them, there’s not that fear factor like there is at the moment with Manchester United and City especially, maybe even a little bit with Tottenham as well.”
“I think we saw an indicator of it back in January when Mane was missing from the team. They failed to beat some of the teams that we expected them to beat,” Pearce continued.
“I think all the games that you keep dropping two points on, when you end up drawing against teams who are in and around you or are expected to beat, are always going to erode you.
“You know full well United and City are going to keep winning.”
The Reds fell to seventh in the Premier League table after the draw to Newcastle, now below Burnley and Arsenal. They face a challenging fixture against Manchester United at home upon return from the international break.