Premier League
Stoke2Watford0

Stoke City 2-0 Watford

Crouch
Peter Crouch has scored twice in two games for Stoke

Stoke ended a five-game winless run in the Premier League with victory over Watford to move above the visitors in the table.

Defender Ryan Shawcross opened the scoring for the Potters with a smart left-footed half-volley from Charlie Adam's corner seconds before half-time.

Peter Crouch prodded in a second after Watford defender Sebastian Prodl bizarrely opted to leave a low Adam cross in the area.

Prodl then headed wide at the other end, but that was the closest the Hornets came to scoring.

Jonathan Walters could have extended Stoke's lead when he ran clear from a Crouch flick-on, but Heurelho Gomes tipped his right-footed strike wide.

It means Watford have now won just once in their past eight league games.

Stoke stop the rot

Stoke were without a win since 3 December, having conceded four in defeats at Liverpool and Chelsea over the festive period, but Mark Hughes will be encouraged by a convincing home performance.

The Welshman called on the Potters to cut out the "catastrophic errors" that had seen them concede 10 goals in their previous three games, and they looked solid against a Watford side who could only muster two shots on target.

Hughes stuck with the 3-4-3 formation used at Stamford Bridge four days earlier, and with forward Marko Arnautovic back in the side after a three-game ban the Potters were a constant threat.

The Austria international has created more chances for Stoke this season than any of his team-mates bar Xherdan Shaqiri, and his threat in the attacking third saw him make three key passes and deliver seven crosses against a Hornets side struggling to deal with his unpredictability.

However, it was the precise passing of Adam that led to both of Stoke's goals, the Scottish midfielder twice curling in left-footed deliveries that the visitors failed to defend.

Tis not the season to be jolly for Watford

Watford
Watford have conceded 14 goals in their last five Premier League away games

Victories over Manchester United, champions Leicester City and Everton helped Watford climb as high as seventh in December, but they have not won since beating the Toffees and have now dropped to 14th.

A point at home to struggling Crystal Palace on Boxing Day is all the Hornets have to show from three games in nine days over the festive period, and head coach Walter Mazzarri made the point his side had "50% less time to prepare than Stoke".

Stoke's extra day's rest, coupled with Watford's current injury problems, ensured the home side repeatedly forced the visitors deep into their own half before Mazzarri threw on attackers Odion Ighalo, Jerome Sinclair and youngster Michael Folivi late in the game.

Watford have been plagued by injuries in recent weeks, missing up to eight first-teamers, and with midfielders Nordin Amrabat and Adlene Guedioura also off to the Africa Cup of Nations, Mazzarri will surely have to strengthen during the January transfer window if he is to stop his side tumbling down the table.

Man of the match - Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam's two assists equalled his total tally for the previous two Premier League seasons, and proved the difference against Watford. He also made more crosses (10) than any other player.

Manager quotes

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "We have played better and been beaten in recent weeks. We got goals at good times and then saw the game out quite comfortably. We didn't really have to deal with too many moments of anxiety.

"It's good to get a clean sheet, because we have shipped some poor goals in recent weeks."

On the prospect of Peter Crouch being offered a new contract: "Peter has been playing really well and if you put balls in the right areas you know he is going to get on the end of things. I am sure we will get something done - he is playing as well as he ever has done."

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Stoke 2-0 Watford: Hughes wants new year to be new start for Stoke

Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri: "We played well, but two episodes, two mistakes, and they managed to score goals. We could have scored before them and we didn't do it, but we demonstrated we can play against a difficult team like Stoke.

"We have to keep going and give everything for the next match. Nothing is going our way, so it is just a period we are not lucky but we need to change this. We have many injuries, so it is not a positive period."

Home comforts for Stoke

  • Stoke have lost just one of their past eight home Premier League games (W4 D3).
  • Peter Crouch scored in successive Premier League games for the first time since February 2015.
  • Watford have now lost five away Premier League games in a row, conceding 14 goals and scoring just twice.
  • Ryan Shawcross scored his first Premier League goal since New Year's Day 2015.
  • Stoke are unbeaten in their past 18 home Premier League matches in which they've scored the first goal.

What next?

Stoke welcome Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Saturday (15:00 GMT) and then travel to Sunderland in the Premier League the following week.

Watford host Championship side Burton Albion in the cup, before returning to league action at home to Middlesbrough a week on Saturday.

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 33Grant
  • 8Johnson
  • 17Shawcross
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 18DioufBooked at 19minsSubstituted forAfellayat 68'minutes
  • 4Allen
  • 16AdamSubstituted forWhelanat 84'minutes
  • 3Pieters
  • 19Walters
  • 25Crouch
  • 10Arnautovic

Substitutes

  • 2Bardsley
  • 6Whelan
  • 14Afellay
  • 21Imbula
  • 22Shaqiri
  • 24Given
  • 27Bojan

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 4Kaboul
  • 5PrödlSubstituted forFoliviat 81'minutes
  • 3Britos
  • 27KabaseleBooked at 90mins
  • 17GuédiouraSubstituted forSinclairat 69'minutes
  • 11BehramiSubstituted forIghaloat 45'minutes
  • 29Capoue
  • 25Holebas
  • 16DoucouréBooked at 76mins
  • 9Deeney

Substitutes

  • 15Cathcart
  • 19Sinclair
  • 24Ighalo
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 32Mason
  • 39Folivi
  • 42Eleftheriou
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
27,010

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Stoke City 2, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Watford 0.

Offside, Stoke City. Peter Crouch tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Joe Allen (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Folivi (Watford).

Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Booking

Christian Kabasele (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

Attempt missed. Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Glenn Whelan replaces Charlie Adam.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

Attempt saved. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Peter Crouch with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Michael Folivi replaces Sebastian Prödl.

Attempt missed. Odion Ighalo (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Sebastian Prödl (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Etienne Capoue with a cross following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Jerome Sinclair (Watford) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Etienne Capoue with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

Booking

Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Attempt saved. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Peter Crouch.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ibrahim Afellay with a cross.

Attempt missed. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

Christian Kabasele (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Jerome Sinclair replaces Adlène Guédioura.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Ibrahim Afellay replaces Mame Biram Diouf.

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Attempt blocked. Odion Ighalo (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Mame Biram Diouf.

Attempt blocked. Adlène Guédioura (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Etienne Capoue.

Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Stoke City. Erik Pieters tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea19161242132949
2Liverpool20135248232544
3Man City20133441221942
4Arsenal20125344222241
5Tottenham19116237142339
6Man Utd20116331191239
7Everton208662823530
8West Brom208572824429
9Bournemouth207492934-525
10Southampton206681925-624
11Stoke206682432-824
12Burnley2072112231-923
13West Ham2064102335-1222
14Watford2064102336-1322
15Leicester205692431-721
16Middlesbrough204791722-519
17Crystal Palace2044123037-716
18Sunderland2043131937-1815
19Swansea2043132345-2215
20Hull2034131744-2713
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