Goal line technology was once again in the headlines following the early kick off at the Reebok Stadium, where Bolton Wanderers beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1. However, QPR manager Mark Hughes was left fuming after his side had an opening goal from Clint Hill incorrectly ruled out after the officials failed to see the ball crossing the goal line. Darren Pratley then gave Bolton the lead but QPR got back on level terms just after half time following another dubious decision from the officials, who allowed Djibril Cisse’s goal to stand despite replays showing him to be offside. However, Bolton super-sub Ivan Klasnic sealed all three points for the home side with an 86th minute winner, but it could have been a very different game had Clint Hill’s ‘goal’ been allowed to stand.
That result lifted Bolton out of the relegation zone and there was a similarly good outcome for fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers in their own ‘six-pointer’ against Wolverhampton Wanderers. A brace from Junior Hoilett secured a 2-0 away win for Rovers and piled the pressure on Wolves’ caretaker manager Terry Connor to leave the home side winless since they dismissed Mick McCarthy.
Goals were scarce in the other three Premier League matches of the afternoon, with a trio of 1-0 home wins for Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sunderland. Roberto Di Matteo continued his efforts to salvage Chelsea’s season by guiding them to victory against Stoke City, who played with ten men for over an hour following the dismissal of Ricardo Fuller. Didier Drogba’s 68th minute strike secured the points for the Blues in their first league game since Villas Boas’ sacking.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa managed a rare home win courtesy of an injury time goal from Austrian substitute striker Andreas Weimann and Sunderland moved to within two points of visitors Liverpool by beating them 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. Nicklas Bendtner scored in the 56th minute but was later carried off injured.
The Saturday evening game see Everton host Spurs and Manchester United, Swansea and Norwich host West Brom, Manchester City and Wigan respectively on Sunday, with Arsenal facing Newcastle United on Monday evening.