Watford picked up an important away win last night against Stoke City thanks to second half goals from Troy Deeney, from the penalty spot, and Ismaila Sarr.
Stoke’s Steven Fletcher scored late on to set up a nervy ending for the Hornets, but they held on for the three points to move up to third in The Championship.
Xisco Muñoz named two changes to the side that beat Barnsley in the week, bringing in Nathaniel Chalobah and Joao Pedro for Ken Sema and Andre Gray.
The first real chance of the game fell to the Hornets after what was an even opening half an hour, but good combination play from Hughes and Chalobah lead to a good save from the latter’s shot.
Stoke’s first opportunity came early in the second half, and it looked a certain goal if it wasn’t for Daniel Bachmann, who is stepping in for the injured Ben Foster, after a fantastic reaction save to deny Joe Allen.
Just after the hour mark, the Hornets were awarded a penalty after Bursik brought down Joao Pedro, which allowed penalty expert Troy Deeney to step up and give Watford the lead.
Just over five minutes later, Deeney turned into the provider after his excellent ball found Sarr who coolly slotted the ball beyond the Stoke goalkeeper and into the net to double Watford’s lead.
With just over five minutes to play, Stoke managed to get a goal back after good play from Allen allowed Fletcher to get his shot away and put the ball beyond Bachmann.
Harry Souttar had an excellent chance for Stoke to draw things level in the last minute
of the game, but thankfully for the Hornets, his header went wide of the mark.
Watford held on for a big three points in the end and now sit third in the table and are sitting comfortably in the play-off positions, looking up at only Swansea City and Norwich City.
Next up the Muñoz’s men is another away trip, this time to 16th placed Millwall.
Picture credit Watford FC