Stoke City capitalised on an unlucky own goal by Heurelho Gomes to beat Watford 1-0 with an assured display that moved them clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Watford were disrupted by an early injury to Younes Kaboul, who limped off injured halfway through the first half, and seldom threatened before conceding what turned out to be the decisive goal when Charlie Adam’s header from a corner bounced off the post on to the unwitting Gomes and into the net.
With Marko Arnautovic impressing, Stoke looked comfortable in midfield despite the absence of suspended Joe Allen and almost increased their lead after the break when Jon Walters just failed to get on the end of the Austrian’s weighted pass.
Watford brought on last season’s top scorer Odion Ighalo in search of the equaliser and went close when Daryl Janmaat blazed over the bar. Their frustration was obvious and a bad day was made worse by the late sending off of Miguel Britos for a second bookable offence.