Watford held Stoke City to a goalless draw as a resolute defensive display earned Javi Gracia a point in his first Premier League game in charge.

A game of few chances was defined by physical challenges rather than goalmouth action and Watford matched their opponents every step of the way.

New man Gerard Deulofeu provided brief signs of his quality and Watford looked a different side from the one which lost 1-0 at Southampton on Saturday.

There were, however, moments of uncertainty and defensive lapses almost gifted Stoke a winner on a number of occasions.

Here’s how the Hornets rated at the Bet365 Stadium.

Orestis Karnezis – 7

Had one meaningful save to make as he denied Shaqiri after Sebastian Prodl’s ill-advised back header. Did everything he needed to when called upon and is growing in confidence.

Adrian Mariappa – 7

Watford Observer:

Played in an unfamiliar right-back role and coped admirably. Made one fine block to deny Charlie Adam in the first half and was a solid presence at the back.

Christian Kabasele – 6.5

Won plenty in the air and was defensively sound for much of the match. Did however get beaten too easily to allow a cross to reach Peter Crouch for a good chance.

Also blotted his copy book with a dramatic fall to the ground after being pushed by Mame Biram Diouf.

Sebastian Prödl – 5

Sloppy on the ball on multiple occasions in the first half and his poor header gave Stoke their best chance and he let Shaqiri in.

Looked nervous throughout and was often out of position.

Jose Holebas – 6.5

Looked like a man with a point to prove after his heated dispute with supporters on Saturday and started well.

Got forward to good effect and put in a number of dangerous crosses from open play and set pieces.

Abdoulaye Doucouré – 7

Broke up play well and got Watford playing on the front foot in the first half. Looked closer to the player who dominated early in the campaign, but still played some wayward passes.

Tom Cleverley – 6 The quietest of Watford’s central midfield three but worked hard nonetheless. Such a shame to see him pick up another hamstring injury.

Etienne Capoue – 7

Watford Observer:

Played one sublime pass to send new man Gerard Deulofeu through in the first half. Operated ina deeper role and produced his best performance for some time.

Gerard Deulofeu – 6.5

After a bright start, Watford’s loan signing faded in the first half before coming on strong again in the second.

Some loose touches, some bright touches and plenty to suggest he has more to offer Watford during his short stay.

Richarlison – 6

Struggled to make an impact on the game and was hooked just after the hour as Javi Gracia introduced Andre Gray.

Didn’t look best pleased by the substitution, but didn’t do enough the warrant staying on.

Troy Deeney – 5 

Watford Observer:

Hardly won an aerial duel all night as Ryan Shawcross shackled the Watford number nine. In the team for his powerful hold up play and simple didn’t provide any.


Andre Gray – 7

Looked lively from the bench and almost provided and assist with a low cross for Doucoure. His running in behind gave Watford an extra dimension going forward.

Roberto Pereyra – 5

Came on for the injured Tom Cleverley and his only real involvement saw him wasted the Hornets best chance of the game as he shinned tamely at goal after the ball broke to him in the box late on.

Andre Carrillo – N/A

Only given a matter of minutes to make an impact.