Home news Watford 0-1 Stoke City

Watford 0-1 Stoke City

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Darren Fletcher said victory at Watford was “what was needed” as Stoke City held on to win away from home for the first time this season.Fletcher scored a sweet volley from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner to ease the pressure on boss Mark Hughes.”We had to dig in and be really solid,” said the Scot. “We’ve been hurt by the way we’ve been performing.

“We needed to put in a performance for the manager and for the fans and we stepped up to the plate.”Saturday’s 10 best Premier League statsManchester clubs power on – Premier League round-upMarco Silva’s Watford side, who began the day in a lofty sixth position, enjoyed long periods of possession throughout but did not have a shot until just before the hour.Brazilian Richarlison was unable to place the ball into an open goal after good work from Andre Carrillo had stretched the Potters’ defence.Substitute Andre Gray skewed a shot wide as the home side became increasingly more hurried and frustrated.Watford’s desperation to find an equaliser almost cost them a second goal in added time as goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes came forward for a corner, but although Charlie Adam’s shot towards an open goal hit the post, Stoke had done enough to claim a vital win.Silva later described the goal his side gave up as “a gift”, while a delighted Hughes said: “We aren’t doing as badly as people make out and we’ll be fine.”Stoke shore up suspect defenceAfter their 7-2 destruction by Manchester City and last weekend’s 2-1 humbling at home to Bournemouth, the trip to Vicarage Road brought a much-needed reaction from Stoke.The Potters had been at risk of making their worst start to a Premier League season, and the loss of Geoff Cameron (concussion) and Glen Johnson (illness) was far from ideal preparation for a visit to high-flying Watford.But if Mark Hughes’ side felt the pressure, they certainly did not show it.A defensive threesome of Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross and Kevin Wimmer cleared everything that was thrown at them, while Jack Butland did not face a single shot on his goal.And this from a side who began the weekend with the Premier League’s leakiest defence, with 20 goals conceded in their previous nine games.Hughes challenged his side to “show their mettle” after the loss to Bournemouth and, while the course of their season is not fully altered by this result, the pressure on the management team has lifted slightly with favourable fixtures to come.Watford frustrated

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Watford started with the sort of confidence you might expect from a team who began the day sixth in the Premier League, and with a chance to move into the top four.Playmaker Roberto Pereyra missed the game through injury, but in his place Andre Carrillo seemed to compliment the in-form Richarlison.But for all their swagger and pressure in the early stages, the home side could not find a telling response after Fletcher’s opener.Coupled with the 4-2 defeat at Chelsea, this result means Marco Silva’s side have endured back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.But of greater concern was their lack of cutting edge in front of home support once more.The late win against Arsenal a fortnight ago notwithstanding, the Hornets have taken just two further points from games at Vicarage Road this season. ‘Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better’

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And their frustration was underlined late on as Abdoulaye Doucoure and Mame Biram Diouf were cautioned for a scuffle on the touchline, before c squared up in injury time.Prior to the latter incident, Stoke had put the ball out of play following an injury, but rather than pass the ball back, Deeney appeared to attempt a cross into the visitors’ penalty area.Allen reacted angrily and seemed to have his face grabbed by the home striker. Both players were booked, but Stoke boss Hughes was far from impressed with Deeney’s conduct and suggested he should face further action.”Clearly we kicked the ball out and the right thing to do in the spirit of the game is throw it back.” he said,”Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better but he shaped to play it into our box and that’s why Joe reacted.”More often than not those situations get revisited by people in authority and decisions are made as a consequence.”‘Not in our image’ – what they saidStoke City manager Mark Hughes: “For whatever reason, people talk about pressure; in hindsight the Man City result took a bit longer to get out our system, but we’ve done that this week and I’m pleased as punch.”We understood what they would try and do and it was food and drink for our centre-halves. We had the better chances, with Saido [Berahino] and Charlie [Adam] at the end – he told me he lost his bearing.”But overall it’s a good performance, we’ve had a tough set of fixtures.”

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Watford manager Marco Silva: “In the first half we gave 45 minutes to our opponents. We were too slow and not in our normal image.”We gave one gift, the goal. In that moment we lost our focus and they scored a good goal. The second half was mostly our team, they played with 10 men behind the ball. It is normal when a team is in that position in the table.”We created some chances to change the score, but didn’t. We tried until the end.”We needed to do something different and in the first-half we didn’t do that.”

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Why Stoke love playing Watford – the statsWatford have lost their last four games against Stoke, after winning four of the previous six (D2) and keeping a clean sheet in each match in that run.Stoke have now won four consecutive matches against Watford for the first time since December 2004 under Tony Pulis. The Hornets mustered 14 shots in the game without directing any on target; only Burnley managed more shots in a Premier League game this season without directing one on target (20 v West Brom in August).Watford have suffered consecutive league defeats for the first time this season, and since losing their last six league games of 2016-17.Darren Fletcher netted his first Premier League goal in his last 26 appearances in the competition, since scoring for West Brom v Sunderland on 21 January 2017.Xherdan Shaqiri has been involved in four goals in his last six top-flight games (one goal, three assists), after just three goal involvements in the 19 games before that.Man of the match – Kurt Zouma (Stoke City)

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What’s next?Stoke return to action with a home match against Leicester City on Saturday, 4 November (12:30 GMT); for Watford it is a trip to Merseyside to face Everton on Sunday, 5 November (16:30 GMT). Line-upsMatch StatsLive TextLine-upsWatford1Gomes21FemeníaBooked at 57mins27Kabasele3Britos25Holebas29CapoueSubstituted forGrayat 58’minutes16DoucouréBooked at 87mins28CarrilloSubstituted forHughesat 80’minutes8Cleverley11RicharlisonBooked at 76mins9DeeneyBooked at 90minsSubstitutes2Janmaat6Mariappa18Gray19Hughes22Zeegelaar23Watson30KarnezisStoke1Butland6Zouma17Shawcross5Wimmer18DioufBooked at 87mins24Fletcher4AllenBooked at 90mins3Pieters22ShaqiriBooked at 85minsSubstituted forAdamat 88’minutes32SobhiSubstituted forBerahinoat 78’minutes10Choupo-MotingBooked at 62minsSubstitutes9Berahino11Jesé14Afellay16Adam28Ngoy33Grant42EdwardsReferee:Michael OliverAttendance:20,087Match StatsHome TeamWatfordAway TeamStokePossessionHome70%Away30%ShotsHome13Away6Shots on TargetHome0Away2CornersHome8Away1FoulsHome10Away9Live TextPosted at Match ends, Watford 0, Stoke City 1.Full TimePosted at 90’+7′ Second Half ends, Watford 0, Stoke City 1.Posted at 90’+6′ Charlie Adam (Stoke City) hits the right post with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Saido Berahino following a fast break.Posted at 90’+6′ Attempt blocked. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.Posted at 90’+5′ Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.Posted at 90’+5′ Attempt blocked. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Will Hughes.BookingPosted at 90’+5′ Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card.BookingPosted at 90’+5′ Joe Allen (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 90’+1′ Offside, Stoke City. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting tries a through ball, but Saido Berahino is caught offside.Posted at 89′ Offside, Watford. Tom Cleverley tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.SubstitutionPosted at 88′ Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Xherdan Shaqiri.BookingPosted at 87′ Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) is shown the yellow card.BookingPosted at 87′ Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 86′ Dangerous play by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).Posted at 86′ Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 85′ Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.BookingPosted at 85′ Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 84′ Attempt missed. Saido Berahino (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a through ball.Posted at 83′ Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Abdoulaye Doucouré.Posted at 81′ Attempt blocked. José Holebas (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Richarlison.Posted at 81′ Attempt saved. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.SubstitutionPosted at 80′ Substitution, Watford. Will Hughes replaces André Carrillo.Posted at 79′ Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.Posted at 79′ Attempt blocked. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 79′ Corner, Watford. Conceded by Mame Biram Diouf.SubstitutionPosted at 78′ Substitution, Stoke City. Saido Berahino replaces Ramadan Sobhi.Posted at 77′ Foul by André Carrillo (Watford).Posted at 77′ Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.BookingPosted at 76′ Richarlison (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 76′ Foul by Richarlison (Watford).Posted at 76′ Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 73′ Attempt blocked. André Carrillo (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.Posted at 71′ Attempt blocked. Richarlison (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Holebas.Posted at 69′ Foul by Andre Gray (Watford).Posted at 69′ Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 68′ Foul by José Holebas (Watford).Posted at 68′ Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 67′ Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.Posted at 66′ Attempt missed. Richarlison (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Miguel Britos following a set piece situation.Posted at 65′ José Holebas (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.Show more updatesgoal
Source: BBC Beds