Premier League Darts 2017 – Week 11 matches and predictions

Gary Anderson V Dave Chisnall – Anderson win.
Michael van Gerwen V Peter Wright – van Gerwen win.
Adrian Lewis V Raymond van Barneveld – Draw
Phil Taylor V James Wade – Taylor win
Peter Wright V Gary Anderson – Anderson win.

Share your predictions by leaving a comment.

West Ham United 2-0 Liverpool

West Ham United recorded a comfortable home victory over Liverpool. Michail Antonio opened the scoring for West Ham in the 10th minute with a header from 6 yards out. The goal was controversial, as Antonio appeared to have fouled Alberto Moreno at the other end of the pitch 20 seconds before, with Moreno staying down. Regardless of whether it was a foul or not, Liverpool should have defended better and it was a poor goal to concede. West Ham pushed on and looked likely to score just about every time they attacked, with a shot from Manuel Lanzini swerving viciously and leaving Simon Mingolet a spectator as the far post kept the score at 1-0. Lanzini went off injured and West Ham seemed to become more defensive, but Liverpool struggled to create anything; the closest they came was a shot from Emre Can on the edge of the area, which hit the crossbar and went over.

Liverpool started the second half continuing to control the game, but not creating any real chances. West Ham extended their lead in the 55th minute as a cross from Mark Noble found Andy Carroll at the far post, who powered a header into the net, sending it back across from where it had come from. This didn’t alter the pattern of the game too much and West Ham had a couple of good chances to extend their lead further, whilst Liverpool’s best chance saw substitute Joe Allen head wide from around 10 yards out.

Liverpool sack Rodgers

After a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool sacked manager Brendan Rodgers. There has been much recent speculation about the future of Rodgers, so the sacking was not a complete surprise. However, the timing did seem strange, with Liverpool only 6 points off of 1st. Results and performances may not be as desired, but the club is certainly not in a desperate position. Also, why sack the manager after a result against rivals who are performing well in the league? Sacking him if they had lost heavily would have been more understandable.

Jurgen Klopp is the favourite to become the new manager, but has already said that he wants complete control over all transfers, something that Rodgers did not have. He will also be looking to have the club playing in his style, which is likely to take some time and require a transformation of players at the club. Klopp, assuming he does take the job, will need time and the financial backing of the owners, who will need to invest heavily to get the club back to challenging for the title.

Sporting shocks

Following Japan’s 34-32 victory over South Africa in the Rugby World Cup, BBC Sport has been asking about top sporting shocks. I think that Japan’s victory is the biggest shock that I can remember, but here are some others that I can think of:

Lennox Lewis V Hasim Rahman

Lewis was the heavyweight champion of the world going into this fight in April 2001 and was expected to retain his belt against Rahman, a virtual unknown. Rahman was only fighting because Mike Tyson had been suspended and was a way of keeping the champion busy. However, Rahman had not read the script and knocked Lewis out in the fifth round and became the champion. The rematch in November 2001 saw Lewis fully prepared and he regained the title with a knockout victory in the fourth round, but the result in April had definitely been a shock.

Telford Tigers 8-3 Peterborough Phantoms

I think this is the game I am thinking of and it happened in January 2009 (although if I am wrong and anyone knows differently, please let me know). The Tigers team at the time was not the greatest and were losing most weeks. Peterborough started well and were leading 2-0 at the end of the first. The result looked to be certain, with the only question being what the losing margin would be. I can’t remember if the Phantoms made it 3-0 or not, but I do remember the Tigers producing an outstanding 2 periods of hockey to demolish the Phantoms 8-3, with power forward James Knight helping himself to 4 goals. A great and completely unexpected comeback.

The 2012 Ryder Cup

After two days, America were in a 10-6 lead over Europe (they had been leading 10-4 at one point on the Saturday) and only required 4.5 points to win the Ryder Cup. Europe dominated the singles matches on the final day and the final score saw Europe winning 14.5 to 13.5, with the result being known as ‘the Miracle at Medinah’.

Manchester United 0-0 Exeter City

The third round of the FA Cup in the 2004/05 season saw non-league Exeter City travel to Manchester United. Even with Manchester United naming a weakened side, they were still expected to win comfortably against their opponents, especially as they had home advantage. Despite dominating the game, Exeter stuck ruggedly to their task and claimed a memorable draw. For the replay at Exeter, Sir Alex Ferguson named a much stronger side who won 2-0, but the draw at Old Trafford arguably ended the Manchester United careers of several players who started that day.

Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)

The final of the Champions League saw Liverpool take on AC Milan in Istanbul. Milan scored in the first minute through the highly unlikely figure of Paolo Maldini and they extended that lead with two further goals in the second half. Convinced the game was over, some Liverpool fans were seen leaving at half time. However, 3 goals in 5 minutes in the second half saw Liverpool level the scores before going on to claim victory in the penalty shoot-out. A shock result, especially after the half time score; also, Italian teams are famed for being defensively sound, so for one of them to blow a 3-0 lead made it an even bigger shock.

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich

A shock result because of the dramatic way that it happened; Munich were winning 1-0 in the 90th minute following a 6th minute goal by Basler and were moments away from lifting the trophy. However, Manchester United levelled in stoppage time through Sheringham and then took the lead and victory with a further goal in stoppage time from Solskjaer.

Denmark 1992

A complete shock at Euro 92, as Denmark beat Germany 2-0 in the final. Whilst that result was a shock, the bigger shock was that Denmark were there at all; they had not qualified for the tournament and only knew they were competing 11 days before the tournament started, replacing a banned Yugoslavia following the civil war there.

Brazil 1-7 Germany

Germany beating Brazil is perhaps not a shock, but the emphatic nature of the scoreline coupled with it being in the semi-final of a World Cup being hosted in Brazil made it arguably one of the most shocking results in perhaps not only the history of the World Cup but of football history itself.

Greece 2004

A highly unfancied Greek side somehow claimed victory at Euro 2004, managing to grind out results. Greece’s victory was arguably more shocking than the Danish victory of 1992 as the Greek side did not appear to have any standout players, relying instead on a strong, disciplined defensive game. It was rarely pretty, but highly effective.

Germany 1-5 England

Qualifying for the 2002 World Cup saw Germany and England in the same qualifying group. Whilst not the strongest German side ever, they claimed victory in the final match at the old Wembley (which resulted in Kevin Keegan resigning as England manager). The return fixture in Germany saw them take an early lead, before 5 English goals saw a shocking scoreline. I can remember the general sense of disbelief after the game.

I have only included shocks that I can remember seeing or having read about, thus not including other notable sporting shocks from the past.

Manchester United 3-1 Liverpool

Manchester United recorded a 3-1 victory over rivals Liverpool and moved up to second in the league after a game of two halves. The first half was instantly forgettable, with Manchester United seemingly content to have possession of the ball but not do much with it and Liverpool happy to let them do so. The only way a goal seemed likely was either from the left (Shaw and Depay worked well and looked the most dangerous) or from a Liverpool mistake.

Ashley Young was brought on for Depay at half time and he won the free kick that opened the scoring; the free kick was rolled along and the box and a great hit from Blind found the top corner. The game became more open after this and the pace increased. Manchester United doubled their lead in the 70th minute when a lunging tackle from Gomez resulted in a penalty, which was emphatically dispatched by Ander Herrera. The result seemed to be beyond doubt, but an acrobatic scissor kick from Benteke looked set to create a grandstand final five minutes. However, moments later, Martial picked the ball up in the left channel, cut inside and tied Skrtel in knots before rolling the ball into the far post for a well-deserved victory.

The game needed a change at half time and Manchester United were able to provide that, increasing the tempo of the game and looking more threatening; too often in the first half they seemed happy to keep the ball without looking to create chances or take defenders on. Liverpool never looked like winning the game. It is clear that Rodgers wants Liverpool to keep the ball, but Mignolet and Skrtel in particular were terrible in distributing the ball and too often Liverpool gave the ball back to Manchester United with a poor pass after two or three passes. At other times, they tried to go long to Benteke, but with the other players being so deep, he was isolated and again the ball was soon back in the possession of Manchester United. It was difficult from the game today to see how either side could manage a sustained challenge against early pacesetters Manchester City.

Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool

Aston Villa are through to the FA Cup Final following a dominant display over a lacklustre Liverpool side. Liverpool drew first blood after Villa failed several times to clear a ball, with Coutinho sliding the ball nicely past an onrushing Shay Given. However, the lead did not last long, with good play down the left wing between Delph and Grealish finding Benteke unmarked 14 yards out and he made no mistake. Delph scored the winning goal in the second half by slotting past Mignolet after a fine backheel by Benteke and good pass from Grealish.

Apart from the five minutes or so after Nathan Baker went off injured, Villa were by far the better side on the day. Their play seemed to have purpose and they were constantly probing, with Delph running the game from midfield and Benteke and Grealish looking dangerous throughout. In contrast, it would be difficult to pick out a Liverpool player who had a good game; there were some good individual moments, but overall there was very little shown.

Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool

An enjoyable and open game saw Arsenal beat Liverpool 4-1 and move into second place in the Premiership. Arsenal started the game very well and created several good chances in the opening minutes as a result of the pressure they put on the Liverpool defenders and midfielders; they forced mistakes and intercepted passes out of defence well. Mignolet made a couple of good stops to keep the scores level and Liverpool in the game. As time progressed, Liverpool came into the game and started to create chances of their own, notably when a pass from Markovic was slightly too strong and ahead of Sterling for him to roll the ball into an empty net.

With ten minutes of the half to go, there had been lots of chances but no goals; by half time, Arsenal were winning 3-0. Arsenal right back Bellerin scored the first with a curled finish to the far post having been allowed to cut in on his left foot. Ozil scored the second a couple of minutes later with a free kick that went around the wall and past Mignolet, into the same corner that Bellerin had finished in minutes earlier. On the stroke of half time, Sanchez cut inside Toure and hit a fierce shot from 20 yards. Whilst the shot was fierce, it was very close to Mignolet, but somehow flew past him and into the net.

Liverpool brought on Sturridge at half time, taking off Markovic. I thought that this was a surprising substitution because Markovic had quite a good first half and was involved in several good Liverpool moves. Both teams continued to create chances, with Arsenal operating slightly more defensively than they had in the first half. Liverpool were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when Bellerin, who had already been booked, brought Sterling down in the penalty area. Henderson scored from the spot, although Ospina looked disappointed at it having gone in after having got his right hand to it.

With Liverpool missing Skrtel and Gerrard through suspension, the last thing that they needed was another suspension, but they finished the match with ten men after Emre Can was sent off with around five minutes to go after picking up his second yellow card. With his name already in the book, a tackle from behind was always likely to lead to a red card, although he claim he slipped; the replay showed his left foot did appear to slip a little, but that still doesn’t explain why his right foot was so high. Giroud completed the scoring in the 90th minute with a fine curling effort into the far post that left Mignolet with no chance.

The result has seen Arsenal move into second place and four points behind leaders Chelsea, although whether they stay there will depend on whether Manchester City win their game at Crystal Palace on Monday. Liverpool remain in 5th, but could drop to 7th if Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur win their games. They are currently five points behind third, but could be eight points behind if both Manchester City and Manchester United win their games this weekend. With seven games left, it is difficult to see how they will now be able to finish in the top four this season.