Bolton Relegated After Controversial Draw

Bolton Wanderers needs a win against Stoke City in order to remain in the Premier League, and they almost got it. It was 2-1 for the majority of the second half, and the greater concern was the shocking scoreline at the Eithad, where 10-man QPR had a shocking 2-1 lead against Manchester City. In the 77th minute a penalty was awarded for Ádám Bogdán's challenge in the box on Peter Crouch, which Johnathan Walters converted to bag his second of the game. Bolton poured everyone at their disposal forward but it wasn't happening for them, with Stoke managing to drag out the draw sending Bolton to the Championship.

Just minutes later Sergio Aguero would score a winner for Manchester City deep into stoppage time, meaning that a win for the Trotters would have kept them safe. That being the case, the scrutiny of both Stoke's penalty (Bogdán appeared to have gotten the ball cleanly and the contact looked to have been minimal) and to a far greater extent Walters' controversial opener will likely be intense over these next few days. Clearly this result is not the sole reason for Bolton's relegation, but had a foul been called the Trotters would have likely gone on to make the great escape and stay in the Premier League. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

QPR will consider themselves incredibly lucky, as a different outcome at the Britannia combined Joey Barton's sending off and a last-minute capitulation would have sent them back to the Championship. They'll survive by the skin of their teeth, however, and with the promise of further investment over the summer they may well be a much improved side next year. For Bolton a season full of all different varieties of misery has come to the cruelest of ends, and they will play next season in the Championship, their first spell below the top flight in ten seasons.

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