Stoke City continued their impressive run of results at Vicarage Road as Mark Hughes’ men secured a well-deserved three points on the road against Watford.
The Potters have now lost just one of their last seven fixtures at Vicarage Road with Charlie Adam’s first half header (albeit officially an own goal after the ball struck the post and rebounded in off the goalkeeper) enough to see off the hosts. The goal was the least that Stoke deserved for an impressive performance and The Hornets never truly looked effective or convincing despite a much-improved second half.
The result means that Watford missed out on the opportunity to climb into the top six and Troy Deeney’s quest to score his 100th competitive goal for the club will have to continue next weekend.
A bruising encounter
This lunch-time kick off on Sunday was certainly not the greatest spectacle for those that travelled to Vicarage Road or chose to watch on the television with their Sunday dinner. Chances were few and far between and once Charlie Adam had provided the visitors with a first half lead Watford never truly appeared to possess the creativity or intelligence to fashion an equalising goal.
However, the contest did set one record for the Premier League this season – the highest number of fouls in a match. Bobby Madley awarded 38 free kicks during the contest, an average of one every two minutes, and it is perhaps not surprising that the game struggled to develop inti a fluent, entertaining spectacle with such a stop start nature. It would be harsh to blame this on the match officials, indeed Madley appeared to get the vast majority of decisions correct, and perhaps Watford’s irk should be directed at their own players, particularly Miguel Britos for his senseless red card.