Stoke keep Europa aspirations alive

Stoke City moved up to seventh, just one point behind Manchester United and five behind fourth-place Manchester City, after a 2-1 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Watford 1-2 Stoke City
Walters opens the scoring
Joselu adds a second for the Potters
Deeney scores late consolation
Stoke move up to seventh

Match Summary

Stoke City kept thier Europa League aspirations alive with a 2-1 victory at Vicarage road as Watford's poor form in 2016 continued.

Jonathan Walters opened the scoring mid-way through the first half after a sensational cross from Phil Bardsley set the Irishman up to tap home into an empty net. The 32-year old later set up Joselu to dink an excellent goal over the on-rushing Heurelho Gomes.

Watford captain Troy Deeny scored a late header for the home side, which turned out to be nothing more than a consolation goal for the Hornets.

Full Report

After a bright start from the Potters, Mark Hughes' men turned their dominance of possession to score a wonderful goal early in the second half. Right-back Phil Bardsley found himself in space on the flank before producing an inviting low cross to Jonathan Walters who had the simple task of stroking the ball into an empty net for his eight goal of the season.

Stoke enjoyed a host of chances before the break, but their finishing let them down, giving the Hornets some hope going into the second half.

As the second half started it was much of the same after Marko Arnautovic had a goal ruled off-side, and five minutes into the second half Gomes' bad day at the office continued.

The Brazilian attempted to clear the ball from his area but it went straight to Walters, who knocked it forward first time to the on-rushing Joselu. The Spaniard took his time before lobbing Gomes with some excellent composure.

Stoke looked comfortable for the rest of the second half against a Hornets side that struggled to create any clear-cut chances but they did manage to grab a consolation goal late on as Troy Deeney headed home past Jack Butland in the 86th minute.