The Rams were beaten 3-0 by Jurgen Klopp's Reds in the third round of the EFL Cup at iPro Stadium on a night where the boss was hoping for a shock result.
Pearson admitted it was tough for Derby to produce their best against the in-form Reds and despite eventually going down, praised his players for sticking to the task when things could have become ugly early in the second half.
"We were hopeful that we could give them a more difficult evening," he told Rams Player HD.
"To come in 1-0 down at half-time was a disappointment because of the mistake that led to their first goal.
"On top of that, to concede two goals so quickly in the second half made the task far too steep.
"We continued to work hard and that's something the players can take some credit for because with half an hour to go against one of the best side's in the country, we had to make sure that it didn't become a really uncomfortable night.
"That's what pleased me, but the reflection on the game is that where we want to be and where we are, there is a bit of ground to be made up.
"In games like this, you are hoping for your players to cause an upset. When you come across a side, though, that perform themselves, that's quite hard."