Lacklustre Stoke well beaten by Watford
24th October 2015 3pm
Attendance: 27, 587
Watford ended Stoke recent upturn in form after a lacklustre display from the Potters.
Troy Deeney's first Premier League goal and a second half Almen Abdi goal gave Watford all three points at the Britannia Stadium.
In Mark Hughes' 100th game in charge of Stoke City, he was able to name an unchanged starting eleven as Joselu kept his place upfront.
It wasn't long into the game that Hughes was forced to shuffle his pack as Geoff Cameron limped off and was forced to be replaced by Marc Wilson.
Stoke had a number of openings early on as Bojan et al manged to find pockets of space but couldn't create any real openings in the areas that mattered.
Charlie Adam dragged a shot wide, whilst Arnautovic met Shaqiri's cross too early and could only header wide.
Watford grew into the game and started to win the midfield battle as Capoue and Watson got as stranglehold on the game.
The Hornets almost took a deserved lead when Ighalo rose highest in the box, only to smash his header onto the crossbar.
From the resulting rebound the ball was thrown back in the mixer but Abdi swung and missed in the box, but was able to find Deeney on the edge of the six yard box, but Butland's hand flicked the ball onto the bar and temporarily denied Deeney his first Premier League goal.
Just before the break though, Deeney would get his goal after a neat flick inside by Ighalo bamboozled the out of sorts Marc Wilson. Deeney picked the ball up just outside the area, and shuffled the ball quickly which saw Phillip Wollscheid slip and gave the forward the time to power into the far corner and give Flores' men a deserved half time lead.
Stoke were out early for the second half as Hughes seemed to have turned the air blue at half time, but it was to no avail.
The Potters had the same issues as the first half as they gently played it around the back with no urgency and struggled to get the ball upfield quick enough.
When the Potters did finally get it upfield, they lacked any real cutting edge. Watford defended resolutely and limited Stoke to long range efforts.
Watford doubled their lead and put the game to bed when Marc Wilson dwelled on the ball and was disposed by Ighalo.
Abdi surged forward and powered the ball past Butland to send the travelling yellow army into delirium behind the goal.
Stoke threw on Crouch and Walters for the inept pair Shaqiri and Joselu, who both had disappointing outings.
Walters gave the Potters some much needed urgency upfront but the only chance that fell his way was dragged wide by the Irishman.