Sport Soccer

Saturday 18 August 2018

Deeney 'cross' has Hughes cross - but Stoke get the win at Watford

Tempers flared during Stoke's win at Watford
Tempers flared during Stoke's win at Watford

Mark Hughes told Troy Deeney he "should know better" after the Watford captain sparked a late melee in their 1-0 Premier League defeat by Stoke.

In stoppage-time Stoke put the ball out of play after a player went down injured, but rather than pass the ball back Deeney appeared to attempt a cross into the visitors' penalty area.

Joe Allen reacted angrily but found himself being grabbed by the face by the burly Hornets striker as players from both sides squared up for a second time.

Deeney and Allen were booked, but Stoke boss Hughes was less than impressed by Deeney's conduct and suggested he should face further action.

"I thought it was a bit unnecessary, if truthful," he said. "Clearly we kicked the ball out and the right thing to do in the spirit of the game is throw it back.

"Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better but he shaped to play it into our box and that's why Joe reacted.

"I've seen pictures of raised hands and thumbnails in faces which is totally unnecessary. Maybe other people will look at that.

"More often than not those situations get revisited by people in authority and decisions are made as a consequence."

The incident overshadowed a first Stoke goal for Darren Fletcher which secured a first away win of the season for Hughes.

It was a strike reminiscent of those Hughes used to put away in his pomp, as the midfielder met Xherdan Shaqiri's corner with a crisp volley from the edge of the area.

"Believe it or not we do work on set-plays," added Hughes.

"Having watched Fletch have a couple of attempts in training I wasn't sure we were going to do it.

"But I said 'OK, we'll try it', and he's got a good strike on it. H e didn't volley it like I used to, though. I'll have to show him how to do it."

Watford should have equalised but Brazilian winger Richarlison, who missed two gilt-edged chances in the defeat at Chelsea last weekend, lashed a shot into the side-netting and headed wide from close range.

He was not the only one guilty of wasting chances, though. Stoke sub Saido Berahino missed a one-one-one to prolong his search for a goal, and Charlie Adam aimed for an empty net but hit a post after Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes had gone up for a corner.

Hornets boss Marco Silva felt the game was won and lost in the first half.

He said: "We gave our opponents a 45-minute advantage and during those 45 minutes we gave them a big gift with the goal we conceded.

"We weren't competitive in that moment, we lost our focus and they scored a good goal.

"We played too slow. We knew before that they would come here with 10 players behind the ball and wait for our mistakes.

"In the second half we created chances, but we missed them."

Press Association

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