Nathan Aspinall vowed that Michael van Gerwen is “only human” after shattering his unbeaten Premier League record. The Stockport superstar was outstanding in a 7-5 win over the World No.1 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Thursday night.
The Asp, who nearly quit the game as recently as two years ago, got a little bit of revenge for the Dutchman ending his World Championship dreams in late December with this excellent display.
Speaking exclusively to Phil Lanning on behalf of Colossus, Aspinall admitted: “I’m buzzing. This is my fourth Premier League game and I’ve not played well in one game so far. I just wanted to go up there and play my normal game like I have been on the floor.”
“I think I played really well there. I didn’t mess around with doubles. I put him under pressure, it’s a massive win for me. I beat the World No.1, happy days. When he came back at me I thought it was going to be last week all over again. But I knew I was playing well, just needed to lift my scoring a little bit more.”
“MVG is only human and if you put him under pressure he will miss darts. That’s what happened tonight. He missed that 60 and if he’d hit that, he probably wins the match. Unless you hit that final double you’ve not beaten Michael. He’s the best player on the planet and that’s what I strive to be, where Michael is.”
“To beat him on the Premier League stage is up there with one of my best wins. We’ll build on that into next week. I’ll just keep trying to climb up that table.”
Michael Smith ended a remarkable 10-game Premier League run without a win to comfortably dump home star Jonny Clayton 7-1. It included a slick 167 finish which turned the match in his favour.
He said: “The 167 I hit kind of changed things. I just didn’t want to slip up like I did last week. When I got to six I said to myself ‘don’t do it again’. Luckily enough I put in a half decent leg with a 12-darter and I’m really over the moon to get two points on the board. He missed 36 to got 2-1 up on me and I then took out the 167, that changed the match. For me it kind of killed the match. I think I played well.”
“Any win is vital in any sport. Last week hurt me to throw away a big lead to only draw with Gerwyn. I was angry with myself. I knew I had a big chance tonight. Jonny had never played up here before. But when he won the first leg I thought ‘he’s up for this’. But thankfully this is my first win in 10, that has shocked me as well. It does feel good to end that run.”
The Iceman said: “The crowd tonight were fantastic. I think Daryl got a bit of what I had for most of last year!”
“It’s tough to play up there when the crowd is on your back. Fair play to Daryl he hit a couple of doubles under real pressure. I think Daryl deserved to win that game.”
“A draw is a draw. I’m not happy but I picked up a point. I thought Daryl started really well, I just feel everyone is playing well against me. It’s a good compliment to me really. I wasn’t on my A game today. I’m happy with a point.”
Premier League night three results:
Peter Wright 7-5 Rob Cross
Michael Smith 7-1 Jonny Clayton (C)
Nathan Aspinall 7-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-6 Daryl Gurney
Glen Durrant 7-4 Gary Anderson
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