Tag Archives: face

Phil Taylor eases through the first round of the darts world championships

Power play: Essien watches 15-time darts champion Taylor ease through

Phil Taylor reached the second round of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championships last night, and never needed to be on full power.

He will raise the level after Christmas when he meets either Mark Dudbridge or Dave Chisnall.

But it was not straightforward as the 15-times world champion beat Japanese qualifier Haruki Muramatsu 3-0. It was a night Muramatsu will never forget, having defeated Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson earlier in the evening.

Power surge: Phil Taylor lines up his shot

Power surge: Phil Taylor lines up his shot

Relief: Taylor celebrates his win

Relief: Taylor celebrates his win

His fan club savoured the moment and their excitement grew as Muramatsu had the chance to go 2-1 up in the opening set.

But he missed double top and Taylor eased away.

Taylor knows so much is expected in the first round but it is all about slowly building form during the tournament.

And at the start of the second set, as Taylor missed double 10, Muramatsu moved in to check out on 60 and take a 1-0 lead. But once Taylor started to flex his muscles, he hit back and took the set.

He was averaging just under 100 with Muramatsu on 86, but The Power passed 100 as he won the match on a double five.

Taylor said: “It was hard work to be honest with you.

“It was like playing Jockey Wilson – a bad shot and then three good shots. He was a good player.

Up for a laugh: Fans dress as Father Christmas and his elves at the darts

Up for a laugh: Fans dress as Father Christmas and his elves at the darts

Having a ball: Chelsea

Having a ball: Chelsea”s Michael Essien has fun in the crowd at Alexandra Palace

Face in the crowd: Some of the crowd are still unsure if the famous face is Essien or rapper Tinie Tempah

Face in the crowd: Some of the crowd are still unsure if the famous face is Essien or rapper Tinie Tempah

“He is very steady and precise plus you don”t know who you are playing.

“I think he would have frightened any pro tonight.”

The night before it did not take Adrian Lewis long to be reminded of the buzz of these Championships. Only this time, it was literally that for the man known as Jackpot at the Alexandra Palace.

Defending champion Lewis was having a tricky enough time in his opening match against Nigel ‘The Undertaker’ Heydon when he felt a pain in his left hand.

‘I could not believe it,’ said Lewis. ‘There was a wasp stuck there. I was 2-0 down, we were at the interval, I was practising because I knew I had to get myself back in the game and then this happens.

‘I thought, “What the hell is going on here It is December. This is all I need!’” Lewis overcame the sting and won the match 3-2.

Manager Kenny Dalglish calls for Liverpool to apply the killer touch

Manager Dalglish calls for Liverpool to apply the killer touch in front of goal

Kenny Dalglish has demanded his players discover their killer instinct after admitting Liverpool”s lack of goals has become a cause for concern.

While he had reason to cheer after Steven Gerrard resumed light training following an ankleinfection, Dalglish has accepted his forwards must be more ruthless.

More required: Dalglish is frustrated by the lack of goals

More required: Dalglish is frustrated by the lack of goals

Liverpool”s current tally of 17 goals is their third lowest total at a comparable stage in the Barclays Premier League while their conversion rate of shots to goals is nine per cent, the second worst in the division.

Boost: Gerrard back in training

Boost: Gerrard back in training

Since beating Everton on October 1, Liverpool have scored just seven times in seven League matches and Dalglish knows that must be improved if they are going to push for a top-four spot.

“We have had the opportunities to win just about every game we”ve played, apart from at Tottenham,” said Dalglish, whose side face QPR at Anfield on Saturday.

“It is true we haven”t scored enough goals. We have made enough chances but we haven”t taken them – but it”s not down to any individual.”

Surprisingly, Liverpool have struggled at Anfield.

Their last four home matches have yielded only three goals.

Andre Villas-Boas does the trick thanks to Drogba double

Hitting back! Villas-Boas slams Chelsea critics as Drogba”s double sees Blues through

Didier Drogba fired Chelsea into the last 16 of the Champions League as Andre Villas-Boas let rip at those who dared to write off his team.

Inspirational Drogba scored twice and made one for Ramires as Chelsea beat Valencia 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to qualify for the next round as group winners thanks to Bayer Leverkusen’s draw in Genk.

It lifted the pressure on Chelsea and the manager who claimed this victory was a “slap in the face” for those who dared to criticise.

Great shout: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas roars with delight as his team qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League

Great shout: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas roars with delight as his team qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League

“In terms of the result and what happensin us finishing top, it’s fantastic, it is against all odds,” said Villas-Boas, who surprisingly dropped Frank Lampard to the bench. “Nobody would have bet on us finishing top but it’s happened and that gratifying for the team.

“The team were excellent. It was win of human values, responsibility, solidarity, strength of character, team spirit, ability to take criticism, resilience and it was a great win for Chelsea players. They deserve a respect that they don’t get.

“We’ve been continually chased by different kinds of people but we’ve given everyone, those critics a slap in the face.”

Job done: Chelsea have qualified for the last 16

Job done: Chelsea have qualified for the last 16

Villas-Boas hit out Gary Neville, the former Manchester United defender, who has criticised Chelsea’s defending and in particular David Luiz.

The Blues manager also moaned that Manchester City – who Chelsea face on Monday – had escaped criticism despite a Champions League campaign which is likely to end on Wednesday night.

Villas-Boas said: “This has been a continuous persecution of Chelsea, continuous aggression of one club. We have become the target and we have to accept it.”

Letting rip: Villas-Boas slammed Chelsea

Letting rip: Villas-Boas slammed Chelsea”s critics

Andre Villas-Boas left out Lampard and Fernando Torres but it was a vintage performance from Drogba, who eased the nerves inside Stamford Bridge when he opened the scoring in the third minute. He created the second for Ramires and killed the game witha third in the 76th minute.

Drogba said: “There was a lot of pressure but you start the group stage you know have to play until the last day. We had a chance to finish top and our attitude was positive. We wanted to get the result. The pressure can sometimes be positive and it was today.”

The Ivorian striker, out of contract in the summer, shrugged off question about his own future and added: “My future is not important, the most important thing is to put the team back in the position we want to be in, at the top of the Premier League. We are not happy where we are now.”

Kettering short of players for Darlington

Kettering on the brink as Blue Square side face forfeiting Darlington clash

Crisis club Kettering may be unable to field a side against Darlington in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Tuesday.

Cash-strapped Kettering are under a transfer embargo and many players have left.

Plenty to ponder: Kettering Town manager Mark Stimson

Plenty to ponder: Kettering Town manager Mark Stimson