Which makes that about us; thanks all for your company. Night!
- 2nd Half
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Stoke City - Watford
Premier League - 3 January 2017
Premier League – Follow the Football match between Stoke City and Watford live with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:00 on 3 January 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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So, a goal either side of half-time was enough to settle this one. Stoke will be very glad of that win, which moves them above Watford in the table - among others. From 15th, they now lie 11th; Watfrod drop down to 12th and have problems.
Full-time: Stoke City 2-0 Watford
This game is pietersing out. Clever, eh?
Kabasele lands one on Arnautovic, and is booked.
There shall be three added minutes.
Back to Crouch, I've literally no idea why Stoke would even consider not giving him a new deal. As a sub who changes things, how many better ones are there, especially given that he never relied on pace and is clearly a sound bloke.
Watfrod are pushing and Stoke are getting nervous, but with a two-goal advantage and two minutes to go, they'll be ok.
Elsewhere, Swansea have taken the lead again at Palace. There'll be a few pints of wine consumed round Croydon way tonight.
Affelay wriggles down the left, holding off Doucoure, but Kabasele does enough to clear, falling into the ball and lifting it away.
Wilfried Zaha has scored a scissors kicks for Palace, who are now level with Swansea.
Off comes Adam, with Whelan replacing him.
A messy phase of play ends with the ball bouncing about on the left of the Watford defence, and while Britos ponders the meaning of life, Walters nips in, haring away and thrashing a shot towards the near post that Gomes blocks clear.
All over at Bournemouth, where the hosts came closest to winning at the death. But 3-3 is how it finishes.
Folivi, a striker, replaces Prodl, a defender.
Some breaking news: Hull have fired Mike Phelan, who is of course the principle reason that they're rubbish and nothing to do with the lack of transfer funds nor permanent manager in the last window.
Arsenal have made it 3-3 against Bournemouth, and with six minutes of injury-time to be played, have time to get a winner. As do Bournemouth...
This is a good spell for Watford, but they could probably do with scoring.
Deeney finds himself on the left so comes inside, bending a cross into the middle, where Prodl is up. He does really well to guide a header down, but it bounces just beyond the far post.
Watford might have the most realistic social media voice.
Oh dear, that should've been 99! Allen carries the ball through midfield and finds Affelay on the right. who comes inside and curls over a cross. Crouch is up, but somehow manages to head sideways rather than goalwards, and Walters can neither control nor stay onside.
Again, Arnautovic runs at Kaboul, dragging the ball outside him, but this time the defender comes back at him just when it looks like he's away.
Adam appears on the left again and crosses, Prodl heading clear but only as far as Affelay who, from 25 yards, adjusts his feet superbly to spank a rasp just wide.
Sinclair diddles Pieters, who fouls him - free-kick to Watford, down the right side and between box and touchline. Holebas with it, but all he can do is pick out Grant, who punches clear.
Change for Watford: Sinclair replaces Guediora.
Change for Stoke: Affelay replaces Diouf.
Arsenal have made it 3-2 against Bournemouth, Lucas with what is apparently an absolute jazzer. And Simon Francis has just been sent-off too.
Deeney and Ighalo break, Kaboul finding the former with a lovely long pass down the line. He then burrows towards the box, then jabs back for his buddy just outside it, and a shot follows, but Shawcross was right there to block. Excellent play all-round.
Watford win a free-kick just down the left side of the D, and Younes Kaboulenbauer is behind it. But instead it goes short to Guediora, whose shot is charged down by Diouf. In commentary, Higginbotham wonders why he didn't shoot first time; I imagine the answer is because they wanted to change the angle to try and miss out the wall, or to hit a moving ball.
Arnautovic finds himself in oodles of space and Pieters hits him. Of course, he's offside.
That's a request for information, not the opening line to a gag.
What do you call a lull in a lull?
Watford win a corner down the left, which Holebas hits towards the near post; Martins Indi nuts it behind for another. There's then some argy-bargy inside the box, before the next effort comes in, drawing Grant off his line to punch clear.
Down at Dean Court, Arsenal have pulled a goal back through Sanchez. They now trail AFC Bournemouth by 3-1.
During half-time, I saw Phil Neville pick his dream 5-a-side team. It read: Schmeichel, Adams, Neville G, Scholes, Shearer. Seriously. So no pace, no trickery, no explosiveness, no dribbling - but two defenders.
Pieters makes space down the left and launches a cross into the middle that Diouf flies at, only just missing. I reckon Watford are going to lose this.
"Generally it's not been a bad performance from Watford," says Danny Higginbotham. I beg to differ - they've been rubbish. Created very little, been exposed various times, and with the look of a team about to concede.
GOAL! Stoke City 2-0 Watford (Crouch) 98 for Crouch! Diouf does really well to win the ball back not far outside the Watford box, and eventually it finds its way to Adam on the left. He looks up and swerves in a low cross, which bounces awkwardly in front of Prodl, granted, but offers no excuse for the jumping miskick that follows, which allows Crouch to poke home at the near post. Mazzari again does his nut, and Watford are in big, big trouble (as distinct from big trouble)>.
Arnautovic turns up on the right this time and looks for Walters in the middle, but they don't read one another and the cross is behind him.
Lovely flick from Deeney to play Doucoure in at inside-left, and he cuts across the box before thunking a low shot towards the far post that grant pushes away.
Apparently Walter Mazzari was not at all happy with his players for conceding a goal from a set-piece in the final second of injury time. More news as I get it.
Stoke get the second half going.
I have just learnt that until Peter Crouch scored for them against Chelsea, Stoke had gone 56 games without an English scorer.
That was not especially good, but Stoke have been the better side. In particular, Marko Arnautovic has the beating of Younes Kaboul, hopelessly out of his depth as a wide centre-back against a fast, tricky, powerful winger, and that mismatch will lead to a goal if it's allowed to continue.
For Watford, Holebas has looked dangeoursish, but otherwise they look like a team bereft of confidence trying to find the best way of playing.
Half-time: Stoke City 1-0 Watford
GOAL! Stoke City 1-0 Watford (Shawcross) This is an excellent finish, almost a version of the old Anderton-Sheringham corner. It's clipped low towards the near post, where it's turned in hard, giving Gomes no chance. Not sure what was going on with the marking there, but very well taken nonetheless.
Adam swings over a cross from the right, diving header behind by Prodl.
Arnautovic isolates Kaboul again, beating him for the third time with a change of pace and a swerve before crossing low; Prodl does well to hump it behind. The corner comes to nowt.
Meanwhile, Swansea, who have apparently dominated the first half against Palace, now lead 1-0. Do they know how big Bigsam is?
There shall be three added minutes.
Deeney finds Guediora, whose touch is heavy, but almost allows him to sneak a pass around the side of the defenders clustered in the middle, for the man on the other side. Almost.
Behrami limps off.
Behrami is down receiving treatment and Ighalo is warming up - it looks like the change will be made.
Oh dear. Arnautovic comes inside, moving past Kaboul and across the edge of the box, swivelling into a shot that flies over the bar.
I actually think this is harsh - if he played with players as good as he is, we'd see more of him.
Kabasele heads the ball clear and Watford look to break, but Guediora leaps with his studs as Arnautovic ducks his head and the ref reckons that's a free-kick to Stoke. It's 35 yards out and just left of centre, so Adam ahs the angle changed before clipping in gently; Prodl heads clear.
Holebas crosses again and Kabasele goes over Johnson at the back post, landing on his back. It looks a sair yin and it is - there's some rolling and some treatment, but he's fine now.
Holebas, who's looking sharp, diddles Diouf again then slips a lovely reverse-pass for Doucoure, inside the box 10 yards from goal. He should shoot, but instead opts to cut back, and Stoke clear. Still, it's livening up a bit.
Pieters chips in a cross from the left that Crouch heads towards goal. Gomes is there, though, deciding to push it away rather than catch for reasons known best to himself. The ball hits Diouf and bounces clear, after which Watfrod break, Guediora finding Deeney with a long diagonal pass. The crowd are screaming for offside - it's not - but Deenet, on the left of the box, opts to wait for support instead of shooting, checks, and winds up getting robbed.
And there we go. Arnautovic streaks down the left, round Guediora and away from Kabasele - he is the best player on this pitch by such a long way. He slips.
Behrami wins the ball off Crouch on halfway, and Holebas then knocks him over. The crowd want a free-kick, but the ref thinks not, which some find most upsetting.
Walters thunders down the right and swings out a lovely cross, low into the middle. Rushing in to meet it is Joe Allen, who tries rearranging his feet to impart a flick behind his standing leg and towards the far corner, but amazingly, it doesn't come off. Then, seconds later, Walters does more or less the same thing, but this time, Watford clear more easily.
I saw Nocturnal Animals today, and left the cinema thinking yeah, looked nice, but actually what was the point of that film. Some insight for you.
There is not a lot happening à ce moment.
Er, not sure about this one. Holebas was away.
Bournemouth now lead Arsenal 2-0.
Brilliant from Holebas, killing a crossfield ball with a single perfect touch that puts him face to face with Diouf, who he promptly nutmegs, who promptly schleps him to the ground, who is promptly booked.
Pieters takes the ball off Martins Indi and knocks it inside, setting off past Kabasele in search of the return. But Kabasele either slips or pretends to slip, taking him out and conceding a free-kick.
Terrible from Watford, winning the ball back only for Prodl to give it Arnautovic, haring towards him at inside-left. He bursts into the box and could shoot, but instead squares for Walters, giving Britos the opportunity to slide in and concede a corner. It comes to nothing.
Joe Allen sends a simple square pass well past Walters and into touch. It's that kind of night, the kind with which Messi would never cope.
Guediora gets in behind Pieters, who nudges him while getting a foot in; free-kick to Watford on the right touchline, down the side of the box. Holebas then sends it in directly towards the phalanx of defenders, and away it goes.
Arnautovic allows a ball through his own legs and follows it as it rolls through Kaboul's - that's fantastic - before drilling a low cross that's hoiked away for a throw by Prodl.
Kabasele chips in a cross towards Doucoure, who does well to control it on his chest, but can't fiddle the angle for a shot and the danger, such as it, abates.
Corner to Stoke down the left, Adam again finding Crouch, who nods diagonally down and wide.
Britos fouls Diouf on the right, a reasonable way in from the touchline, 40 yards from goal - time for Charlie Adam. So up he steps to curl a free-kick towards the far post, which Crouch nods back to no one.
Diouf fights his way through Holebas, who brings him down in no man's land. That's all I've got, I'm afraid.
Arnautovic, who has a free role tonight, finds himself on the left and looks to cross, sending the ball hilariously high over the bar.
Mame Biram Diouf, or Cafu as he's now known, hares down the right after a long ball, but is offside - and it runs over the line in any case.
Elsewhere, Charlie Daniels has given Bournemouth the lead against Arsenal.
This could so be so 0-0.
It's a fair stroke of luck for Watford to be playing a Stoke without Affelay, Bojan and Shaqiri. Can they take advantage?
Watford have an huddle; thus, come on Stoke.
So, three at the back plays three at the back; what on earth is going on. What's nice about these is that both will have two strikers, not quite in keeping with the vogue.
Here they come...
Watford have ten senior players missing, but those who are available are in the tunnel. It's on!
Is Crouch one of a dying bread, namely the centre-forward? I don't just mean because he's big, more because increasingly, clubs are just playing with a bunch of attackers, rather than one bloke who's job it is to score above all else. In similar vein, have wingers been replaced by wide atackers?
£43,560,000. The total amount for which Peter Crouch has been transfered during his career.
Peter Crouch has 97 Premier League goals, and, as he explained during a rather nice interview he gave one of those official Premier League shows, he's dead keen to get to 100. If Watford play as they've been playing, he's half a chance of doing it tonight.
Eff eff ess.
In case you're as dense as me, tonight's game kicks-off at 8pm, not 7.45pm as assumed.
Well, this is nice to see.
Watford in happier times.
Nowt to do with tonight's game, but while we're here, I chucked some words next to one another and a piece on Michael Carrick came out.
So, is Mark Hughes in trouble? I don't see the point, I must say. He has good players, and if he can get them fit at the same time, Stoke are a top-half team. If they fired him, who would they replace him with? Exactly.
That concludes the conversing with myself.
Stoke, meanwhile, were not that bad against Liverpool and Chelsea. They still got cleansed.
Watford were so, so bad against Spurs. Just thought I'd share that.
Watford make three changes following the abomination that was their performance against Spurs. out go Cathcart, Amrabat and Ighalo; in come Britos, Kabasele and Behrami.
Or if you prefer, with added change news.
Evening all, and welcome to the in an absolute state derby. All being well, this evening should furnish us with some exhibition, vicarious misery; what more could anyone want?