Defence key as hosts Stoke City shut out Watford 2-0.
Stoke City got off to a quick start in front of their supporters, taking a 1-0 lead over Watford into the break. To the delight of the home crowd, the host defence held firm in the second half, neutralising the Watford attack. In the end, it was a comfortable 2-0 victory for Stoke City and a deserved three points.
Stoke City’s lead on the scoreline was reflected throughout the match. They out-shot Watford 17-9 and found the target five times compared to two by the visitors. Stoke City finished the game with seven corner kicks, while Watford earned six.
Referee Neil Swarbrick was relatively anonymous as it was a pretty simple match to manage. Watford committed the majority of the fouls, finishing with 15 fouls compared to only 10 by Stoke City. Similarly, the visitors received two yellow cards, compared to the hosts’ one.
What the managers said
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes after match comments
“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 and 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.”
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri after match comments
“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, and so it is not a positive period.”