Gary Anderson has fired a warning to world number one Michael van Gerwen, stating: ‘I’m here to muck up his darting career’.
Anderson and Van Gerwen contested a thrilling Premier League clash on Thursday evening at Belfast’s SSE Arena, which ended in a 6-6 draw lasting just 16 minutes.
It was arguably one of the most high-quality Premier League contests ever played. Van Gerwen averaged 110.55 to Anderson’s 108.24 and all twelve legs went with throw, which is a first in this year’s Premier League.
MvG also recorded six maximums and boasted a checkout percentage of 60%, although he was unable to overcome ‘The Flying Scotsman’, who hit an astonishing 85% on the doubles. This clinical performance from the Scot included a fabulous 119 checkout to level up proceedings at 5-5 with ‘The Green Machine’ poised to pounce.
This point extends MvG’s unbeaten league run to ten games, however he now trails table-topper Phil Taylor by four points having drawn four of his last five fixtures. Elsewhere, this point also maintains Anderson’s top-four status, as he prepares to face fellow play-off chaser James Wade in Bournemouth next week.
However, Anderson was in bullish mood in his post-match interview. The world champion claimed: “It makes him think a bit for the next time. Michael’s at the top of the tree at the moment but he’s not having it all his own way and we’re on his tail.”
“I’m here to do one thing, and that’s to muck up his darting career. It’s not worked so far but I’ll give it a go,” the Scotsman quipped.
Anderson memorably defeated Van Gerwen en route to winning his maiden world title in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Championships, whilst he also defeated the Dutchman in last year’s Premier League final. Ando retained his World Championship crown in January and he insists this gives him a psychological edge over the world number one.
“I’ve got the two big ones; he says it’s the future that counts, but he thinks about the past, don’t get me wrong. He’s gutted that he’s not got them; I have but he’s going to have to take it off me.”
Van Gerwen, who has topped the league phase for the last three years, was in philosophical mood after this enthralling tie. “We didn’t give each-other much of a chance; we were both quite steady on our own throws.”
“I had a couple of chances to break his throw; if you want to win you need to take them. I think it was a good result for both of us and I think also it was a fair result,” the 26-year-old admitted.
“He had the right luck at the right moments and he also played really well; I think it was a fantastic match for everyone to watch. I now need to make sure I am there for next week,” Van Gerwen added.
The world number one faces a pivotal double-header against Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis next Thursday, as he aims to close the gap on league leader Phil Taylor. However, with Van Gerwen and Anderson both looking likely to qualify for finals night at the O2 Arena, we could witness another instalment of this classic rivalry in a month’s time.
|After Night 11||P||W||D||L||+/-||LWAT||Pts|
|Michael van Gerwen||11||6||4||1||+22||25||16|
|Raymond van Barneveld||12||4||1||7||-4||21||9|
|Dave Chisnall (E)||9||1||1||7||-14||17||3|
|Michael Smith (E)||9||1||1||7||-26||15||3|