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Alan Shearer on how pressure is affecting Liverpool, Arsenal & Man City in Premier League


CharlieH

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As we saw at Anfield and Emirates Stadium on Sunday, pressure does funny things at this stage of the season - even to the best players and teams.

No-one expected Liverpool and Arsenal to end up both being beaten this weekend, but I've been in their situation myself and this is what happens in a title run-in, especially in must-win games at home. If you don't score early, everyone gets very nervy.

So, I know it will have felt exactly the same for the Gunners, who were desperate to make the breakthrough against Aston Villa, as it did for Jurgen Klopp's side when they were left chasing their game after Crystal Palace went ahead.

On the pitch, players can hear the moans and the groans in the crowd after every wasted chance - or even a misplaced pass - the kind of things that no-one was too bothered about a few months ago.

It doesn't matter how strong your attack is normally, because when the ball suddenly won't go in the net it can start to feel like nothing is happening naturally or going for you in front of goal - and at the same time you get much edgier than usual every time the opposition gets into your final third.

The longer the game goes on like that the worse it gets, because you can hear more and more panic and desperation setting in. If you're the away team then you feel it too, and you know your plan is working.

Sunday's results show what this pressure can do to you, and it is why I have stuck with Manchester City in the past few weeks whenever I've been asked who I think will win the Premier League. I am not going to change my mind now.

Out of the three teams at the top City have the most experience of this scenario and they not only know what to expect, they also know how to deal with it when it happens.

A terrible week for Liverpool

When you get to the final part of the season one bad week can undo months of hard work - and Liverpool have just had a terrible week.

 

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They create the pressure themselves. 100k a week and some can't even break sweat. Too much kissing and cuddling when they score. 

 

Bring back Stan Cullis type managers. He wouldn't have put up with all this hugging and touching.

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