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Bolton reach relegation crisis point with 100m debts

100m-in-debt Bolton reach crisis point as Coyle faces up to relegation disaster

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 12 May 2012

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has admitted the club have been spending beyond their means as they go into a potentially catastrophic relegation decider at Stoke.

Bolton need to beat Stoke and hope QPR lose at Manchester City to preserve their 11-year Premier league status.

The consequences of failure could be disastrous, with Bolton an estimated 100million in debt and Coyle and 14 players either out of contract or due to leave after loan spells.

Cost: Bolton face financial crisis should they drop out of the Premier League

Cost: Bolton face financial crisis should they drop out of the Premier League

'If truth be told, the club have been paying salaries that, for Bolton Wanderers, were in excess of where the club should be,' said Coyle, who has had to sell the likes of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and England defender Gary Cahill in the past 12 months to cut the deficit.

'We have been fortunate over the past 10 or 11 years that our owner, Eddie Davies, has committed so much money to the club. When I came in as manager (in 2010), rather than just concentrating on the football I looked at our budget and how we could help as a football club. I think it would have been remiss of me not to.'

Bolton's season has been ripped apart by the cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamba in March and serious injuries to Stuart Holden, Chung-yong lee and David Wheater.

Korean Lee could make his first start of the season after recovering from a broken leg.

'There have been many things this year we have had to deal with,' said Coyle. 'We've put in place a plan that will set the club for years to come, financially and everything else, but we understand that will be better suited and come to fruition quicker being in the Premier League.'

Dark clouds gathering: Bolton captain Kevin Davies will hope to fire his side out of relegation trouble at Stoke on Sunday with the price of failure growing

Dark clouds gathering: Bolton captain Kevin Davies will hope to fire his side out of relegation trouble at Stoke on Sunday with the price of failure growing

Captain Kevin Davies, former Manchester City winger Martin Petrov and leading scorer Ivan Klasnic are among those out of contract at the end of the season.

Coyle's own future is also likely to depend on the result at the Britannia Stadium. Bolton are two points behind QPR in the battle to avoid the last relegation place, having let a 2-0 lead slip against West Bromwich Albion last Sunday.

Bolton"s David Wheater out for nine months

Bolton suffer survival blow with defender Wheater ruled out for nine months

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UPDATED:

19:10 GMT, 7 May 2012

Bolton defender David Wheater is expected to be out for nine months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2-2 draw with West Brom.

A club statement read: 'Scans have revealed that David Wheater has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

'The defender picked up the injury when he landed awkwardly during yesterday's home game against West Bromwich Albion. He is expected to be out of action for up to nine months.'

Case for the defence: David Wheater has been ruled out for nine months

Case for the defence: David Wheater has been ruled out for nine months

The injury means Wheater will miss Wanderers' final game of the season at Stoke next Sunday, which the club need to win if they are to have any chance of staying up.

Owen Coyle's men are two points from safety after blowing a 2-0 lead against the Baggies.

Wheater suffered the injury in the first half at the Reebok Stadium, but played on initially only to be replaced at half-time by Zat Knight.

Bolton also lost Martin Petrov to a knock at the weekend, although Lee Chung-yong returned from a broken leg to make his first appearance of the campaign off the bench.

Bolton 1 Tottenham 4: Spurs remain in Champions League hunt

Bolton 1 Tottenham 4: Spurs boost top four hopes with emphatic win at Reebok

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 3 May 2012

Despite this terrific performance, Tottenham left Lancashire no nearer to knowing if they will grace the Champions League again next season. Newcastle’s surprising victory at Chelsea made sure of that.

Bolton, however, did perhaps learn something — if they don’t play better than this over the final two games of the season they will surely be relegated.

That would be a devastating end to a difficult and emotional season for Owen Coyle and his players. Only the cruel would not feel some sympathy for them.

Wonder goal: Luka Modric celebrates after putting Tottenham in front against Bolton

Wonder goal: Luka Modric celebrates after putting Tottenham in front against Bolton

MATCH FACTS

Bolton: Bogdan, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Eagles (Miyaichi 83), Reo-Coker (Vela 65), Mark Davies, Petrov, Ngog (Klasnic 65), Kevin Davies.

Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Sordell.

Booked: Vela,Eagles.

Goals: Reo-Coker 51.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas (Nelsen 87), Kaboul, Rose, Lennon (Saha 84), Sandro, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart (Livermore 79), Adebayor.

Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Giovani, Defoe, King.
Booked: Walker.

Goals: Modric 37, Van der Vaart 60, Adebayor 62, 69.

Attendance: 22,349

Referee: Mike Dean

However, the chasm between these two teams was as large as the score suggests and it is clear that Bolton will have to find another gear — at least — when new England manager Roy Hodgson arrives with West Bromwich on Sunday.

This was an even contest only for a 10-minute period at the start of the second half. During that time Bolton’s Nigel Reo-Coker equalised Luka Modric’s first-half fizzer and the home team briefly put Tottenham under real pressure.

Had they scored at that time, and Kevin Davies and Chris Eagles came very close indeed, maybe they could have used the momentum to record a significant victory.

As it was, Tottenham broke in devastating fashion to score twice either side of the hour and the game was over. Coyle argued that this was the crucial period of the game.

The truth is, though, that over 90 minutes Harry Redknapp’s team were distinctly superior.

Those who would wish to see their England team play expansive football will perhaps have watched Tottenham rather ruefully on Wednesday night.

Certainly they played some super football. Nor will it have been lost on Spurs supporters that their team have rediscovered their form now that their manager is no longer in the frame to manage his country.

Back in it: Nigel Reo-Coker scores Bolton's equaliser (above) before celebrating (below)

Back in it: Nigel Reo-Coker scores Bolton's equaliser (above) before celebrating (below)

Nigel Reo-Coker of Bolton Wanderers celebrates

Not surprisingly, Redknapp dismissed a link but his team do seem to be gathering momentum ahead of their final two games of another up-and-down season.

Redknapp said: ‘I don’t really think we had a bad run. Things just didn’t go our way. I don’t know about the England thing. Everybody has disappointing spells.

‘I don’t think the players were affected. Maybe other people at the club think they were. But we played well here today. I’m very pleased.’

Emotional: Fabrice Muamba took to the Reebok pitch before watching from the stands

Emotional: Fabrice Muamba took to the Reebok pitch before watching from the stands

Emotional: Fabrice Muamba took to the Reebok pitch before watching from the stands

Emotional: Fabrice Muamba took to the Reebok pitch before watching from the stands

Teams in relegation battles often find it difficult to play their best football. Nerves, tension and the sheer size of the stakes can suck the composure from players. Nevertheless, effort, hard running and high tempo really should be pre- requisites and it was surprising to see the home team lacking even these assets for most of a first half that Tottenham dominated.

The visitors enjoyed the majority of the possession from the start and were denied the lead by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan midway through the first half. In truth the young Hungarian probably should have done better than push Gareth Bale’s low shot straight into the path of Rafael van der Vaart in the 20th minute. But the way Bogdan then spread himself to block the Holland forward’s follow-up was impressive.

Back in front: Rafael van der Vaart scores Tottenham's second at the Reebok

Back in front: Rafael van der Vaart scores Tottenham's second at the Reebok

Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart, bottom right, celebrates with teammates

Bogdan did well once again to beat away Van der Vaart’s shot from 18 yards in the 35th minute and there did appear to be a handball from a Tottenham player before Bolton smuggled the ball behind for a corner soon after.

There was, however, no disputing the quality of Modric’s subsequent goal as he collected Van der Vaart’s short corner on his chest, allowed the ball to bounce and then volleyed it across Bogdan and into the top corner from 25 yards.

It was a lead Tottenham thoroughly deserved but Coyle obviously said something right at half-time — maybe he just pinned the league table on the wall — as his team came out flying for the start of the second period, even if only for 10 minutes.

The equaliser was a good one as Kevin Davies flicked on a throw-in, David Ngog back-heeled the ball into Reo-Coker’s path and the former West Ham midfielder drilled the ball low past Brad Friedel.
Suddenly the Reebok, hitherto rather quiet, woke up and for a while Tottenham wobbled. Davies headed one chance over from a corner while Eagles landed a volley on the top of the net. Bolton were literally inches away from an unlikely lead.

Carbon copy: Emmanuel Adebayor scores Tottenham's third (above) and fourth (below) goals

Carbon copy: Emmanuel Adebayor scores Tottenham's third (above) and fourth (below) goals

Carbon copy: Emmanuel Adebayor scores Tottenham's third (above) and fourth (below) goals

Carbon copy: Emmanuel Adebayor scores Tottenham's third (above) and fourth (below) goals

As it was, Tottenham broke twice in devastating fashion to take the game away from the hosts in the 60th and 62nd minutes.

First Bale got away down the left to cross for Van der Vaart to score first time and then Aaron Lennon sped on to a superb pass from the goalscorer to centre low for Adebayor to convert at the far post.
Bolton were sunk by now and before long it got worse as Adebayor, anonymous for much of the game, was set clear through the middle and he rounded Bogdan to score his second goal.

Coyle said: ‘As good as Tottenham are we have shot ourselves in the foot. Some of the goals were self-inflicted.

‘We were in the ascendancy at that point and could have gone on to win.’

Chelsea v Newcastle, Bolton v Tottenham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Chelsea v Newcastle and Bolton v Tottenham – as it happens

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UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 2 May 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Chelsea host Newcastle and Bolton welcome Tottenham to conclude the mid-week action. The battle at Stamford Bridge concerns two teams chasing Champions League spots, while at the Reebok Stadium, Spurs will also be targeting a top-four place as they visit the relegation threatened Trotters. Email me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Bolton 0-0 Tottenham (8pm)

Chelsea 0-1 Newcastle (7.45pm)

Click here for the live Premier League table

20.14: Fantastic chance for Spurs. After soaking up some Bolton pressure they go back on the attack and only a point blank save from Adam Bogdan keeps Rafael van der Vaart out after he initially saved a Gareth Bale shot.

20.11: Chelsea look a little sloppy here – Newcastle are proving tougher opposition than QPR were on Sunday and the Blues are struggling to break them down.

20.08: Not a bad start from the away side at the Reebok Stadium too. Spurs even had a decent shout for a penalty after David Wheater pulled down Younes Kaboul inside the box from a corner – but nothing was given.

20.06: GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 NEWCASTLE

This is stunning, even by Papiss Cisse's ridiculously high standards.

The striker flicks up a pass across him on the edge of the box and hammers home with his next touch to leave Petr Cech with no chance – what a goal!

20.04: Demba Ba, who hasn't scored in over a 1000 Premier League minutes now, has Newcastle's first decent effort.

But his overhead kick from a Mike Williamson knock down is over the bar.

20.02: Away we go at the Reebok Stadium as Spurs get us going.

19.59: Torres is again involved for Chelsea as he charges down the flank, but his cross for Daniel Sturridge is scuffed wide by the striker.

19.56: Teams are out at the Reebok, Tottenham in their black change strip.

19.53: Emotional scenes at the Reebok Stadium as Muamba makes his way out on to the pitch and is given huge applause from every corner of the ground. He can barely hold back the tears as even the club mascot gives him a hug.

Fabrice Muamba chants also ring around the ground.

19.50: First chance falls for Chelsea too, but on the edge of the box Fernando Torres lashes a shot comfortably over the bar.

Chase down : Newcastle's Cheick Tiote (left) puts Chelsea's Fernando Torres under pressure

Chase down : Newcastle's Cheick Tiote (left) puts Chelsea's Fernando Torres under pressure

19.47: Away we go at Chelsea v Newcastle.

19.44: The teams are out at Stamford Bridge as rain falls in west London.

19.41: Bolton and Tottenham both named unchanged sides for tonight's Barclays Premier League clash at the Reebok Stadium.

Spurs, hoping to tighten their grip on fourth spot, are again without midfield inspiration Scott Parker, but Aaron Lennon overcomes a knock to feature for Harry Redknapp's side.

Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is passed fit to start for relegation-threatened Bolton, who could move out of the bottom three with a point.

19.38: Muamba has been interviewed by Sky Sports and has confirmed he is getting stronger by the day…as well as having six boxes of 'get well soon' cards to open.

Once again it's great to see the Bolton midfielder in high spirits again after his shocking cardiac arrest on the pitch at Tottenham on March 17.

19.35: From InfoStradaLive:

Kevin Davies has 8 career #EPL home goals against #spurs. Only Alan Shearer (9) has more at home against them in the #PL era.

19.32: Fabrice Muamba returns to the Reebok Stadium this evening to watch the game, and upon arriving at the ground he was given a very warm round of applause by waiting fans outside. It's good to see him again.

19.29: From InfostradaLive:

Tottenham have failed to win all seven PL away matches in 2012, picking up only three points. The only team with a worse away record this year is QPR (1 point).

19.26: From OptaJoe:

12 – Newcastle have conceded a total of 12 goals in their last three Premier League games in London. Battered.

Still going strong: Brad Friedel has been ever-present for Tottenham this season

Still going strong: Brad Friedel has been ever-present for Tottenham this season

19.23: Brad Friedel hits another milestone this evening in the Tottenham goal.

According to the club, he will become their oldest player of all time, taking over the record held by Jimmy Cantrell for 89 years.

Friedel of course was just starting his career back in those days.

19.20: Full line-ups from the Reebok Stadium:

Bolton v Tottenham
Bolton: Bogdan, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Eagles, Reo-Coker, Mark Davies, Petrov, Ngog, Kevin Davies. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Klasnic, Sordell, Miyaichi, Vela.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Sandro, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Saha, Giovani, Defoe, King, Livermore, Nelsen.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

19.17: So we know it's a huge match for Tottenham but it's just as big for Bolton too.

The Trotters lie in the bottom three but know even a point could take them out of the relegation zone.

Given Spurs' awful record at the Reebok Stadium though (they have never won a league game there) surely three points is the target for Owen Coyle's men.

19.14: Bolton starting XI:

Bogdan, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Eagles, Mark Davies, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Ngog.

19.11: Tottenham starting XI:

Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor.

Back on form: Chelsea's Fernando Torres retains his place after scoring a hat-trick against QPR on Sunday

Back on form: Chelsea's Fernando Torres retains his place after scoring a hat-trick against QPR on Sunday

19.08: Breaking team news from Spurs is that they are unchanged – lineups coming in a second.

19.05: Interim boss Roberto Di Matteo gambles on resting both Juan Mata and Frank Lampard as he makes six changes for Chelsea's Barclays Premier League game against Newcastle.

Fernando Torres keeps his place up front after his first hat-trick for the club against QPR on Sunday, while Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires, Raul Meireles, John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda and Ryan Bertrand are all recalled.

Newcastle make one enforced change from the side thrashed 4-0 at Wigan on Saturday, bringing in James Perch for the injured Danny Simpson.

19.02: Full-lineups from Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea v Newcastle
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Meireles, Sturridge, Torres, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Mata, Drogba, Kalou.

Newcastle: Krul, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan, Ferguson.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

18.59: Huge game at Stamford Bridge then. The winner will certainly have a hold on fifth spot, but depending on how Spurs do at Bolton, it could be fourth with just two games left.

18.56: Chelsea starting XI:

Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Mikel, Meireles, Ramires, Malouda, Sturridge, Torres.

18.53: Newcastle starting XI:

Krul, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Ba, Cisse.

18.50: It is probably just me being slow on the uptake but it was only the realisation that we have no more Saturday 3pm fixtures left in the Premier League this term – that I realised just how close we are to the end of the campaign.

After tonight's games every side will have just two matches left and that's just the sort of build up we need this evening with three of the four teams in action chasing a Champions League spot. Team news on the way.

On fire: Papiss Cisse has scored 11 goals for Newcastle since joining in January

On fire: Papiss Cisse has scored 11 goals for Newcastle since joining in January

Sunderland 2 Bolton 2: Kevin Davies double gives Wanderers hope

Sunderland 2 Bolton 2: Davies double gives Wanderers hope of avoiding relegation

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 28 April 2012

Kevin Davies struck twice to keep Bolton's survival hopes alive after a hard-fought draw at Sunderland.

The 35-year-old striker volleyed the visitors in front with 26 minutes played and then snatched a point 20 minutes from time with a close-range header.

Nicklas Bendtner had cancelled out Bolton's lead with a cool 36th-minute finish and the Black Cats looked to be on the road to victory when James McClean curled a 55th-minute free-kick past keeper Adam Bogdan.

Set-piece special: James McClean (left) celebrates putting Sunderland ahead from a free-kick

Set-piece special: James McClean (left) celebrates putting Sunderland ahead from a free-kick

MATCH FACTS

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, O'Shea, Turner, Kilgallon (Bridge 82), Bardsley, Campbell (Elmohamady 72), Cattermole, Colback, McClean, Bendtner, Sessegnon. Unused subs: Westwood, Bridge, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos, .

Goals: Bendtner 36. McClean 55

Booked: Cattermole

BOLTON: Bogdan, Boyata, Ream, Wheater, Ricketts, Reo-Coker (Vela 78), Mark Davies, Petrov, Eagles (Klasnic 64), Ngog (Miyaichi 64), Kevin Davies. Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Sordell.

Goals: Kevin Davies 26, 70

Referee: Lee Probert

But Davies' intervention ensured
Wanderers added a further point to the three they collected at Aston
Villa in midweek to send themselves into Wednesday night's home clash
with Tottenham in confident mood.

Sunderland at least ended their
barren run – they had not scored in four games before today – but they
will have been disappointed not to be able to hang on to claim a first
league win in six attempts in front of a crowd of 40,768.

Despite manager Martin O'Neill's
insistence to the contrary, the Black Cats have given the impression of a
team with one eye on the summer in recent weeks, and for the opening
half-hour or so they did little to dispel the notion.

They were simply not at the races,
with the visitors providing all of the early impetus to create a series
of promising openings. Chris Eagles drilled a fourth-minute free-kick
wide and David Ngog saw his seventh-minute shot blocked by Matt
Kilgallon before Nigel Reo-Coker carved a path through the red and white
shirts to blast a long-range effort just wide.

Hero: Kevin Davies (right) beats the tackle of Matthew Kilgallon to put wanderers a goal up

Hero: Kevin Davies (right) beats the tackle of Matthew Kilgallon to put wanderers a goal up

Keeper Craig Gordon, playing his
first game of the season following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury,
was called upon for the first time when he got down to claim Mark
Davies' 10th-minute drive. The traffic was largely one-way and Michael
Turner had to throw himself into the path of Martin Petrov's goal-bound
11th-minute shot.

Petrov turned provider with 25
minutes gone when he crossed from the left for Ngog to head high over
the bar, but the Bulgarian repeated the dose seconds later and Kevin
Davies was no so wasteful.

Hope: Kevin Davies celebrates his goal

Hope: Kevin Davies (left) celebrates his goal to prematurely please manager Owen Coyle (right)

Hope: Kevin Davies (left) celebrates his goal to prematurely please manager Owen Coyle (right)

The midfielder's cross found the
striker unmarked at the far post and he volleyed expertly across Gordon
and into the bottom corner to give Wanderers a deserved lead.

Sunderland belatedly found their feet
as they sought a way back into the game and after Stephane Sessegnon
had seen penalty appeals waved away, Kilgallon glanced a McClean
free-kick just the wrong side of the post with keeper Adam Bogdan beaten
13 minutes before the break.

On the run: Sam Ricketts of Bolton holds off Lee Cattermole

On the run: Sam Ricketts of Bolton holds off Lee Cattermole

The equaliser eventually arrived four
minutes later when Jack Colback slid a pass into Bendtner's run and he
controlled confidently before passing the ball past Bogdan and into the
net.

Full-back Phil Bardsley's hopes of
being awarded a penalty when his shot struck Tim Ream's foot and then
his arm were never going to be answered in the affirmative, but O'Shea
was denied by Bogdan after making an unlikely 38th-minute burst into the
box.

Arms race: Mark Davies is chased down by Jack Colback (right)

Arms race: Mark Davies is chased down by Jack Colback (right)

However, Gordon had to react well to
tip Ngog's mishit volley over the bar in the final minute of the half
with Bolton intent on collecting all the points on offer.

The Scotland international was in
action once again within four minutes of the restart when Eagles'
swerving shot almost deceived him after the midfielder was allowed time
and space to take aim.

Anxious times: Coyle (right) knows Bolton are on the brink

Anxious times: Coyle (right) knows Bolton are on the brink

Hero: Kevin Davies celebrates his second goal

Hero: Kevin Davies celebrates his second goal

Bolton were dominating once again,
but contrived to surrender the advantage when Kevin Davies slid in late
on Sessegnon to concede a 55th-minute free-kick 25 yards out.

McClean's firmly struck shot curled
over the defensive wall and despite the best efforts of Bogdan, who
managed to get a hand to it, found the net via the underside of the
crossbar.

Wanderers manager Owen Coyle made a
double change with 64 minutes gone when he replaced Eagles and Ngog with
Ryo Miyaichi and Ivan Klasnic, but his side almost fell further behind
within two minutes when Fraizer Campbell curled a right-foot shot just
over.

However, Bolton were back on level
terms 20 minutes from time when full-back Sam Ricketts crossed for the
unmarked Kevin Davies to head firmly past Gordon from five yards.

They might have snatched victory at
the death when Kevin Davies headed down yet another Petrov cross to
Klasnic, but Gordon managed to block his shot on the turn with his foot
to spare his side further misery.

Newcastle 2 Bolton 0

Newcastle 2 Bolton 0: Ben Arfa's superb solo strike moves Toon level with Spurs

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 9 April 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa produced a moment of genius to maintain Newcastle's unlikely bid for Champions League qualification.

The Frenchman lit up a disjointed display by his side with a breathtaking 73rd-minute run and finish to finally break Bolton's stubborn resistance.

Papiss Cisse made sure of the win seven minutes from time by converting substitute Shola Ameobi's cross – his 10th goal in nine appearances for the club – to take the Magpies to 59 points for the campaign, their best Barclays Premier League haul since the 2005-06 season.

Opener: Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates scoring a wonder goal against Bolton at the Sports Direct Arena

Opener: Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates scoring a wonder goal against Bolton at the Sports Direct Arena

MATCH STATS

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa (Taylor 85), Cabaye, Perch (Ferguson 46), Gutierrez, Ba (Ameobi 64), Cisse.

Subs not used: Elliot, Abeid, Gosling, Tavernier.

Booked: Gutierrez

Goals: Ben Arfa 73, Cisse 83

Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Ream, Wheater, Steinsson, Mark Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley (Klasnic 82), Kevin Davies (Ngog 78), Petrov, Eagles (Miyaichi 78).

Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Sordell.

Booked: Reo-Coker

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

But the visitors headed back across the Pennines knowing it might have been so different had either Chris Eagles or Mark Davies managed to beat keeper Tim Krul in an impressive start to the second half.

They remain deep in relegation trouble, in sharp contrast to their hosts, whose dreams of European qualification refuse to die.

The respective ambitions of the two sides ahead of kick-off could hardly have been in starker contrast with Newcastle intent on sustaining an unlikely charge for Europe and Bolton simply looking for the points they need to extend their Premier League stay.

But with the locals having arrived hoping for a free-flowing attacking display from their side in the wake of Friday night's battling win at Swansea, what they got was a drab, joyless opening 45 minutes which would have delighted Wanderers boss Owen Coyle.

Cisse, who has put better defences than that boasted by today's visitors to the sword in recent weeks, was subdued as he and Newcastle's flair players failed to fire in the face of a determined rearguard action.

In addition, recalled veteran Bolton frontman Kevin Davies kept the returning Fabricio Coloccini and central defensive partner Mike Williamson busy throughout.

Up for grabs: Fabricio Coloccini challenges Adam Bogdan in the Bolton penalty area

Up for grabs: Fabricio Coloccini challenges Adam Bogdan in the Bolton penalty area

It said much about the opening period that the only half-chance came with 38 minutes gone, and that the result of an error by visiting keeper Adam Bogdan which, fortunately for him, went unpunished.

French midfielder Yohan Cabaye had a brief glimpse of goal with 15 minutes played when the ball broke to him on the edge of the box after full-back Danny Simpson's charge had been halted, but he fired high over.

Sam Ricketts saw a long-range shot deflected wide by Coloccini four minutes later, but Krul and Bogdan were never stretched as Bolton managed to frustrate their hosts.

How did I miss Demba Ba reacts after failing to find the target for Newcastle

How did I miss Demba Ba reacts after failing to find the target for Newcastle

Krul had to get down well at his near post to collect Martin Petrov's 31st-minute strike, but there was never any real chance of the ball eluding his grasp, and his opposite number was similarly unworried by Coloccini's curling effort from distance two minutes later.

The only moment of note came seven minutes before the break, and perhaps fittingly, was something of a comedy of errors.

Bogdan got to Ben Arfa's inswinging free-kick under no pressure, but contrived to punch it straight at team-mate Ricketts with the ball, to his immense relief, flying wide of his unguarded goal.

Battle: Jonas Gutierrez (right) runs with the ball while Chris Eagles attempts a challenge

Battle: Jonas Gutierrez (right) runs with the ball while Chris Eagles attempts a challenge

There was almost an audible sigh of relief when referee Mike Jones blew for half-time with the home fans hoping the restart would bring much, much better.

In the event, it very nearly brought much worse.

The home side, who had replaced utility man James Perch with Shane Ferguson at the break, found themselves pinned back inside their own half after Williamson had been penalised for a foul on Darren Pratley.

Going nowhere: Bolton's Tim Ream (left) tackles Danny Simpson to prevent him launching an attack

Going nowhere: Bolton's Tim Ream (left) tackles Danny Simpson to prevent him launching an attack

Newcastle dealt with the initial
free-kick, but simply could not clear their lines, and Krul had to make a
fine block after Eagles had controlled a bouncing ball inside the box,
side-stepped Coloccini and gone for goal left-footed.

But the Holland international was
mightily relieved to see Petrov's 53rd-minute cross elude Pratley after
it had flown past him inside his six-yard box.

Mark Davies was unable to make the
most of Kevin Davies' 64th-minute cross to allow Krul to block his
scuffed shot, and Pardew opted to make a further change.

Wonder strike: Ben Arfa finishes off a superb solo move to put Newcastle in front

Wonder strike: Ben Arfa finishes off a superb solo move to put Newcastle in front

He withdrew Demba Ba, who was not best
pleased, and replaced him with Ameobi, but it was Ben Arfa who sent a
68th-minute free-kick wide of Bogdan's left post.

But the France international was not finished, and won the game with a run and finish which oozed class 17 minutes from time.

Can't stop scoring: Papiss Cisse adds a second goal for Newcastle against Bolton

Can't stop scoring: Papiss Cisse adds a second goal for Newcastle against Bolton

Pure delight: Cisse celebrates his goal as Newcastle move level with Tottenham in the Premier League

Pure delight: Cisse celebrates his goal as Newcastle move level with Tottenham in the Premier League

Ben Arfa picked up the ball from Cabaye deep inside his own half before setting off on an unstoppable run which saw his slip away from Mark Davies and in between central defenders David Wheater and Tim Ream before nonchalantly poking a shot past the advancing Bogdan.

The game was over 10 minutes later when Ameobi turned Ream wide on the right and sent a cross to the far post where Cisse, who looked suspiciously offside, tapped home his now customary goal.

Fuming: Bolton manager Owen Coyle argues with referee Mike Jones after his side's defeat to Newcastle

Fuming: Bolton manager Owen Coyle argues with referee Mike Jones after his side's defeat to Newcastle

Wolves 2 Bolton 3: Crucial win for Owen Coyle

Wolves 2 Bolton 3: Crucial win for Coyle's boys will keep Muamba smiling

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UPDATED:

16:28 GMT, 31 March 2012

Bolton came from behind to claim a vital victory at Molineux and leave rock-bottom Wolves seemingly staring relegation in the face.

After dominating the first half without managing to convert, the hosts deservedly broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute through the lively Michael Kightly, but they subsequently imploded.

Martin Petrov's penalty and further goals from Marcos Alonso and Kevin Davies saw them fall 3-1 behind, with Matt Jarvis' 88th-minute response proving a mere consolation.

Euphoria: Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring with a horde of delighted Bolton fans

Euphoria: Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring with a horde of delighted Bolton fans

MATCH FACTS

Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Bassong, Ward, Kightly, Davis (Henry 87), Edwards (Milijas 87), Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake (Doyle 81), Fletcher

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Hunt, Berra, Zubar

Booked: Stearman

Goals: Kightly 53, Jarvis 88

Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Ream, Wheater, Alonso, Miyaichi (Eagles 77), M Davies, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Klasnic (K Davies 70), Ngog (Knight 90)

Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Sordell, Vela

Booked: Klasnic

Goals: Petrov 63 pen, Alonso 80, K Davies 84

Attendance: 25,215

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

The result – Bolton's third win on the bounce against fellow strugglers after their league triumphs over QPR and Blackburn – means the Trotters move up a place to 16th in the Barclays Premier League, a point clear of the drop zone.

The picture is more bleak for Wolves, who are now six points adrift of safety at the foot of the table and have taken only one point from a possible 18 under manager Terry Connor, suffering five losses in a row.

The midlands outfit's remaining home matches are against Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton and Connor's predecessor Mick McCarthy had described this contest as a “must-win” game.

Win they did not – although for long periods it seemed as if this was destined to be Connor's first victory.

Wolves made a positive start, with Kightly looking a threat down the right flank and a couple of corners causing panic in the Bolton box.

Kightly then lofted a free-kick forward which Steven Fletcher did well to keep in and the ball came to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who brought a save out of Adam Bogdan with a snap-shot.

The Trotters served a warning at the other end, Petrov seeing an effort blocked by Richard Stearman and miscuing an attempted volley moments later, but the hosts were soon back on the offensive as Fletcher headed Jarvis' corner wide before Ebanks-Blake drilled off target from distance.

Cool: Martin Petrov strokes home the equaliser from the spot

Cool: Martin Petrov strokes home the equaliser from the spot

Opener: Michael Kightly broke the deadlock

Opener: Michael Kightly broke the deadlock

Bolton forward David Ngog sent a shot harmlessly wide just prior to the half hour mark and there was a nervier moment for Wolves soon after as Petrov just cleared the crossbar having cleverly flicked the ball over Roger Johnson.

Bogdan then did brilliantly to claw away Fletcher's header, but the hosts were looking vulnerable at the back and after Trotters striker Ivan Klasnic was allowed to get a shot away, Wolves skipper Johnson and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey squared up to each other.

Referee Jon Moss did his best to calm the pair down and within moments, Fletcher had come close to scoring again, the Scotland international's header being cleared off the line by Ryo Miyaichi.

Muamba

Solidarity: Martin Petrov gives Stiliyan Petrov a goodwill message

Support: Bolton fans have a message for Fabrice Muamba, while Petrov has his own for Villa's Stiliyan Petrov

Spot of bother: Tempers flare after Bolton are awarded their penalty

Spot of bother: Tempers flare after Bolton are awarded their penalty

Fletcher then had another near miss just before the interval as he nodded Kightly's cross against the bar.

Wolves looked to pick up where they left off as the second half got under way and Johnson produced a header which was easily caught by Bogdan, but they then survived a scare as David Wheater glanced Miyaichi's cross just the wrong side of the post.

The hosts' dominance finally paid off eight minutes after the restart as Kightly received the ball from Ebanks-Blake, darted past Alonso and arrowed a shot beyond Bogdan into the corner of the net.

The home supporters breathed a sigh of relief, but within 10 minutes, Bolton had equalised as ex-Wolves man Mark Davies went down after being challenged by Johnson in the box and Petrov buried the resulting spot-kick.

Strike: Kightly's goal gave Wolves the head-start in a relegation six-pointer

Strike: Kightly's goal gave Wolves the head-start in a relegation six-pointer

Disagreement: Wayne Hennessey and Roger Johnson get fiesty

Disagreement: Wayne Hennessey and Roger Johnson get fiesty

As part of his celebration, the Bulgarian revealed a t-shirt displaying a message of support for his compatriot and namesake Stiliyan, the Aston Villa captain who has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

The Trotters wide man then almost added another, unleashing a stinging drive that Hennessey managed to save, and struck a free-kick at the goalkeeper moments later.

With just under 15 minutes to go, Jarvis blew a chance to put his side back in front by heading wide when he should have done better, and it proved costly.

Advice: Owen Coyle dispenses some instructions

Advice: Owen Coyle dispenses some instructions

Three minutes later Ngog headed Petrov's cross against the bar and Alonso had little trouble converting from close range.

Bolton then swiftly extended their
lead as one substitute Chris Eagles had the space to find Kevin Davies
who slotted past Hennessey.

Jarvis gave Wolves hope by pulling one back two minutes from time but it was too little too late.

Bolton v QPR live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Bolton v QPR – all the action from the Reebok Stadium as it happens

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UPDATED:

12:08 GMT, 10 March 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Bolton host QPR at the Reebok Stadium to open up the weekend's action. Only two points separate the sides who have not won their last five league games and are battling to avoid relegation.

12.10: I've just seen the teams for this lunchtime clash. And I'm not going to keep them to myself.

Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Reo-Coker, Mark Davies, Pratley, Miyaichi, Ngog, Petrov.
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Muamba, Eagles, Knight, Kevin Davies, Klasnic, Sordell.

QPR: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Traore, Barton, Diakite, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Cisse, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Mackie, Buzsaky, Young, Taiwo.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

12.00: Good day. That old rascal winter is on its way out, and that must mean the business end of the season is well and truly with us. And this game is rather an important one.

Trotting on: Nigel Reo-Coker will hope his Bolton side can leap-frog QPR in the table with three points

Trotting on: Nigel Reo-Coker will hope his Bolton side can leap-frog QPR in the table with three points

Millwall 0 Bolton 2: Miyaichi and Ngog lift the gloom for Coyle

Millwall 0 Bolton 2: Miyaichi and Ngog lift the gloom for Coyle

On-loan teenager Ryo Miyaichi starred as Bolton enjoyed the
distraction of an FA Cup fifth-round clash with Millwall at the New Den.

The 19-year-old winger opened the scoring early on before a long-range
effort from David Ngog in the second half wrapped up a simple win for
Owen Coyle's side.

Cool finish: Ryo Miyaichi scores the first gaol for Bolton

Cool finish: Ryo Miyaichi scores the first gaol for Bolton

Miyaichi (left) celebrates his strike

MATCH FACTS

Millwall: Mildenhall, Dunne, Robinson, Lowry, Barron, Feeney (Bouazza 73), Trotter, Smith (Wright 57),Kane (Henry 80), Henderson, Keogh. Subs Not Used: Forde, Craig, N'Guessan, Mason.

Booked: Feeney, Dunne.

Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Mark Davies (Pratley 86), Muamba, Reo-Coker, Sanli, Ngog, Miyaichi (Eagles 78).
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Knight, Klasnic, Boyata.

Booked: Reo-Coker,Mark Davies.

Goals: Miyaichi 4, Ngog 59.

Att: 11,134

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Miyaichi latched onto a quick free-kick from Sam Ricketts in the fourth minute and held off the challenge of Alan Dunne before finishing with great composure past the returning Steve Mildenhall in the Millwall goal.

Fabrice Muamba and Ngog also had good chances as the visitors dominated large swathes of the first half with Millwall only flickering into life as an attacking side on rare occasions.

The Lions' worked their way into the game as they started to enjoy more possession than in the opening exchanges but they still could not create any clear-cut chances.

Bolton seemed happy to knock the ball around in midfield as captain Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Davies looked in complete control.

There were muted appeals for a Millwall penalty after 33 minutes when Andy Keogh went down in the box under pressure from David Wheater but referee Kevin Friend was uninterested.

Friend then infuriated the home fans when he cautioned Liam Feeney for a challenge on Ngog, who himself had earlier escaped punishment for two fouls in the Millwall half.

On the run: Mark Davies takes on Millwall's Jack Smith

On the run: Mark Davies takes on Millwall's Jack Smith

The hosts' came closest to a first-half equaliser when Feeney's cross
was turned over his own crossbar by Gretar Steinsson as the Iceland
international sliced his attempted clearance.

Bolton came out in the second half intent on retaining possession and
making things difficult for the hosts but it was the Championship club
who had the first decent chance.

Robinson met Scott Barron's 49th-minute corner with a header but did not make sufficient contact and the ball sailed wide.

Double trouble: Andrew Keogh of Millwall is closed down by Bolton duo Gretar Steinsson and Tuncay Sanli

Double trouble: Andrew Keogh of Millwall is closed down by Bolton duo Gretar Steinsson and Tuncay Sanli

Millwall seemed to garner some self-belief from that effort and began to
play some decent, attacking football themselves with only the finish
lacking from Feeney after an intricate 54th-minute move.

The step-up in tempo from Millwall proved to be in vain as Ngog doubled
Bolton's lead just before the hour with their first effort of the second
half.

Robinson's poor clearance was collected by Tuncay, who fed Ngog and the
former Liverpool forward's shot from 25 yards beat Mildenhall, who could
only get a hand to it.

Crunch time: Millwall's Paul Robinson tackles Bolton's Fabrice Muamba

Crunch time: Millwall's Paul Robinson tackles Bolton's Fabrice Muamba

Ream, who looked assured at centre-back alongside Wheater, then had his
first uncertain moment of the game as he was charged down by Henderson
but the 24-year-old January acquisition from New York Red Bulls managed
to clear.

The second goal appeared to take the wind out of the Millwall sails and
both sides began to waste possession although Liam Trotter's long-range
effort did sting the palms of Bogdan in the 68th minute.

Bogdan then made a point-blank save from Harry Kane as the rain started to lash down, making conditions difficult.
Keogh then came close to connecting with a deep cross as Millwall chased a goal to set up a tense final 15 minutes.
Miyaichi, who had visibly tired during the second period, was replaced by Eagles as Coyle looked to freshen up his side.

Bolton reverted back to their game plan of holding onto possession in
midfield and were starting to look comfortable as their lower-league
opponents began to flag.

When Bolton decided to press they again cut through the defence as
Ricketts powered to the edge of the box before shooting wide of
Mildenhall's far post.

Norwich 2 Bolton 0

Norwich 2 Bolton 0: Surman and Pilkington send Trotters into bottom three

A Second-half goals from Andrew Surman and Anthony Pilkington ensured Norwich ended a nervy afternoon with a win over Barclays Premier League strugglers Bolton at Carrow Road.

The Canaries dominated the first half and should have been well ahead by half-time, but their profligacy, and the Bolton woodwork, left them frustrated.

Canaries flying: Andrew Surman celebrates his stunning opener

Canaries flying: Andrew Surman celebrates his stunning opener

MATCH FACTS

Norwich: Ruddy, Naughton, Whitbread (Bennett 40), Ayala (Martin 23), Drury, Fox, Pilkington, Surman, Hoolahan, Holt, Jackson (Morisin 74). Subs not used: Steer, Johnson, Crofts, Wilbraham.

Goal: Surman 70, Pilkington 85

Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Wheater, Knight, Ricketts, Eagles (Sanli 73), Muamba (Kevin Davies 57), Reo-Coker, Petrov, Mark Davies, Ngog (Sordell 82). Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Klasnic, Pratley, Boyata.

Referee: Lee Probert.

The game looked set to peter out into
a dull goalless draw until Pilkington volleyed home in the 70th minute
and Surman wrapped up the win just before the end with an instinctive
finish after Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan had parried Russell Martin's
drive.

It may not have been glamorous, and
their finishing was extremely poor at times, but the win is yet another
home success for the promoted side, who continue to defy expectations
and still sit comfortably in mid-table.

Bolton, meanwhile, dropped back into
the relegation zone after a poor showing which will do little to
convince their doubters they can stay up despite their decent run of
form that preceded the game.

Thump: Surman crashes home the opener to put Bolton in the bottom three

Thump: Surman crashes home the opener to put Bolton in the bottom three

Nippy: Simeon Jackson reacts after missing a shot on goal. Bit cold. Good excuse.

Nippy: Simeon Jackson reacts after missing a shot on goal. Bit cold. Good excuse.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert admitted
yesterday that his side were still hurting from their 3-0 midweek
humbling at Sunderland and his players seemed intent on bouncing back
with three points today from the off.

Daniel Ayala cut out an early Sam
Ricketts cross for Bolton, but the Trotters otherwise spent the majority
of the opening exchanges on the back foot.

Zak Whitbread headed David Fox's
cross wide before Grant Holt drew Bogdan into his first save with a tame
volley after Simeon Jackson and Pilkington combined well down the
right.

Jackson fired wide after Surman cut
the ball back from an acute angle and Bogdan prevented the Canadian from
scoring again minutes later after he took advantage of some poor
marking to collect Holt's flick-on and shot at goal.

So close: Andrew Surman (right) hits the bar as Bolton keeper John Ruddy looks on

So close: Andrew Surman (right) hits the bar as Bolton keeper John Ruddy looks on

Ayala's crunching tackle to deny
Chris Eagles at the other end won him the applause of the home support,
but it came at a price as he hobbled off and was replaced by Martin.

The hosts' best move of the first
half came in the 24th minute when Wes Hoolahan played in Holt and he
squared to Surman, but his shot struck the crossbar and rebounded to
safety.

Lambert was forced into another
defensive reshuffle before the break when Whitbread came off injured and
was replaced by winger Elliott Bennett.

The youngster moved to right back and
Kyle Naughton shifted out of position to centre-half. Bolton started to
come into it more towards the end of the first half and went close just
before the break through a deflected Martin Petrov drive.

Crunch: Surman (centre) has another shot on goal under pressure from Ruddy and Tyrone Mears (right)

Crunch: Surman (centre) has another shot on goal under pressure from Ruddy and Tyrone Mears (right)

The Canaries should have been ahead
two minutes after the break when Adam Drury found Holt unmarked at the
back post but his dreadful header flew 10 yards wide.

Jackson missed another two chances
and it appeared the home side were not going to get their breakthrough
despite their dominance.

Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy,
meanwhile, made his first save of the game from David Ngog, who had been
joined in attack by substitute Kevin Davies.

Hoolahan raced through but Ricketts
tracked back well before Bolton flew down the other end but Naughton did
well to deny Davies at the back post from Eagles' cross.

Jackson then turned David Wheater but could only sidefoot a weak shot at Bogdan as the home fans began to get nervous.

Arms race: Daniel Alaya (left) clambers over Bolton's David Ngog

Arms race: Daniel Alaya (left) clambers over Bolton's David Ngog

Those nerves disappeared in the 70th minute, however, thanks to Surman's strike.

The midfielder saw his initial effort
rebound off Wheater after an excellent cross from Jackson but the ball
fell straight back into the path and he drilled a peach of a volley past
Bogdan from around 10 yards.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle brought on
Tuncay Sanli for Eagles soon after as Bolton looked for an immediate
reply and Jackson then came off to a standing ovation to be replaced by
Morison for Norwich.

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (right) goes in hard on Zak Whitbread

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (right) goes in hard on Zak Whitbread

Petrov stung Ruddy's palms with a fierce half-volley 11 minutes from time as Bolton launched an aerial assault.

Holt somehow cleared the bar from
three yards the following minute from Pilkington's curling cross while
Marvin Sordell came on for his debut in the place of the ineffective
Ngog.

On the run: Alaya chases Ngog

On the run: Alaya chases Ngog

Bolton never really looked like equalising, the home fans remained anxious on what was a bitterly cold afternoon in Norfolk.

The crowd could finally breathe
easily five minutes from time when Martin's shot rebounded into the path
of Pilkington and he drilled home from eight yards.

Mutual respect: Norwichmanager Paul Lambert (left) shakes hands with counterpart Owen Coyle

Mutual respect: Norwichmanager Paul Lambert (left) shakes hands with counterpart Owen Coyle

Sliding in: Elliott Bennett (left) challenges Bolton's Martin Petrov

Sliding in: Elliott Bennett (left) challenges Bolton's Martin Petrov