Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor will contest a winner-takes-all clash in Rotterdam next week, as the pair remain locked on points at the top of the table after they both secured comprehensive victories in Manchester on Thursday evening.
Van Gerwen only leads Taylor on legs difference, but ‘The Green Machine’ maintained top spot with a stunning 7-2 win over his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. MvG averaged 108 against his elder statesman; reeling off five consecutive legs en route to victory.
Van Barneveld recorded an average of 101 and hit five maximums, but he was contending with an unstoppable force in the shape of the world number one. Van Gerwen came desperately close to hitting a 9-darter in the seventh leg; wiring D12 with his ninth dart.
The 27-year-old from Boxtel continued his purple-patch, as then converted sublime finishes of 122 and 167 to condemn Barney to his heaviest defeat of the campaign. Yet despite the scoreline, the five-time world champion did very little wrong.