WATFORD, England — Darren Fletcher’s first goal for Stoke was enough to secure the Potters a much-needed 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday in the Premier League.
Form proved irrelevant as Stoke, which began the day clear of the relegation zone only on goal difference, overcame a Watford side that has started the season impressively.
Watford dominated possession but couldn’t find a way through the leakiest defense in the Premier League — Stoke has conceded 20 goals in its opening 10 games.
Fletcher, who joined Stoke from West Brom during the summer transfer window, provided a moment of quality worthy of winning any game.
Xherdan Shaqiri found Fletcher on the edge of the box, allowing him to unleash a stunning volley into the net after 16 minutes.
Watford’s best chance of an equalizer came just before the hour mark as Richarlison failed to put the ball into an open goal after fine work from Andre Carrillo.
Watford drops below Liverpool to seventh.