It was a perfect way for Stoke City to erase the defeats at Liverpool and Chelsea from memory. How did the Potters perform on Tuesday night?
With a forgettable Christmas now behind them, Mark Hughes and Stoke City could look to building towards a better 2017.
A 2-0 win over Watford was a good start, but how did each of the starting XI do?
Lee Grant: 7
Lee Grant put in a solid shift on the eve of signing a permanent deal at the club. The respite would have come at a good time. Having picked the ball out of his net eight times in the last two games, he appreciated a quieter night. Solid and reliable when called upon.
Glen Johnson: 7
Didn’t have a whole lot to do throughout the game. Slight mix up at the back with Grant in second-half. Important goal-line clearance to keep the clean sheet intact.
Bruno Martins Indi: 6.5
After grabbing his first goal for the club, Martins Indi still doesn’t look the real deal for me just yet. There or thereabouts on most occasions.
Ryan Shawcross: 8
Appears more comfortable and authoritative than defensive partner. Great arrival in the box for his goal on half-time.
Mame Biram Diouf: 7.5
Repaying Hughes with his faith in him. Still not directly in as many goals as he’d like, no doubt. However, Diouf’s work rate is unquestionable – endearing himself to fans.
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Joe Allen: 6.5
Relatively quiet and hidden through much of the game. Provided the link between defence and midfield when required. Definitely not as effective when playing deeper. A shame.
Charlie Adam: 8
Dominating performance in the middle of the park. Intelligent and intuitive play in transitions key for Stoke City at the moment. Great deliveries and supply levels high also.
Marko Arnautovic: 7
It’s becoming a regular gripe of mine: Arnautovic still isn’t hitting the heights he is capable of. Tried to take the game to the Watford back line in the opening periods.
Erik Pieters: 7
Becoming more accustomed to a slightly more advanced role. Very adaptable as a wing-back, providing assistance at both ends of the pitch when required.
Jon Walters: 7
Industrious and bullish in areas that he needed to be. Unlucky not to score one for himself at the death. Doing the hard yards up front that Stoke City need.
Peter Crouch: 8.5
In very improved form. Constant nuisance for defenders with high/long balls. Has been his whole career, of course. Current solution to the striking nightmare.