As things currently stand, Bolton Wanderers are in 17th place thanks to goals from Mark Davies and Kevin Davies, while QPR are in the relegation zone after a goal from Pablo Zabaleta put Manchester City ahead going into half time. Bolton ended the half looking inspired and bouyant, while QPR have every appearance of a team just desperately hoping that things do not get too far out of hand.
Things were looking bleak indeed for Bolton after Jonathan Walters gave Stoke City an early 1-0 lead. Wanderers manager Owen Coyle was furious with the referee after the goal, and he just might have had a point; Matthew Etherington's cross was sent far too close to Trotters Adam Bogdan, but a charging Walters barged into the keeper who appeared to have control of the ball, heading it away and into the net. Bolton equalized just shy of 40 minutes, with Mark Davies latching onto a loose ball in the box and firing off of Andy Wilkinson and past Asmir Begović. Bolton would take the lead right before the half-time whistle when a curling ball from Kevin Davies got behind Begović, who then punched the ball into the net in a somewhat shocking display.
QPR spent much of the first half simply playing not to lose, cramped in their own half with nine men behind the ball, and for much of the time it worked; Manchester City consistently looked dangerous but never found the final ball needed to sufficiently break the opponent down. Still, the goal always looked as though it were coming and indeed it did, from the most unlikely of sources; Zabaleta jinked into the box and took a clever flick and shot a curler towards Paddy Kenny. The QPR keeper likely ought to have done better, as his punch away resulted in the ball taking a wild, looping deflection into the back of the net.
There's still plenty of time for plenty to change in either game, but as it stands Bolton will be feeling good about their chances. QPR will need to make wholesale changes to get back into the game, while Manchester City still have everything for which to play. But Bolton will either need to keep looking for goals or put their faith in a defense that's been woeful all season, and though their lead is deserved they've been the beneficiary of luck in putting two past a stingy Stoke City defense. Keeping in mind the Trotters have no choice but to win, there's still no call for overconfidence.