Football

Bellamy heaps more misery on Boro

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Craig Bellamy's 51st-minute strike proved enough to give Manchester City a 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough at Eastlands.

But the real hero was £6million City new boy Shay Given, who produced four magnificent saves to deny Afonso Alves and ensure the hosts recorded a deserved win.

It means Boro have now gone 13 games without a win and remain in the bottom three, facing a desperate battle to avoid the drop.

If Given had not produced his heroics, it would have been tough luck on the hosts, who dominated possession and carved out a series of chances of their own, only to be frustrated by a combination of Brad Jones' agility and the crossbar.

Bellamy was particularly aggrieved, twice seeing chances turned away by the Australian before failing to slide home a low Stephen Ireland cross begging for a finish.

Boro might have been reasonably pleased with their efforts but all that changed six minutes after the restart when Nigel de Jong played what seemed to be a routine pass to Bellamy on the right-hand edge of the box.

Emanuel Pogatetz moved across to cover but the visitors skipper did not get close enough. Bellamy skipped past the Austrian's lunge before unleashing a precise left-footed shot that nestled in the bottom corner.

Bellamy, Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robinho came close to increasing City's lead.

Then Given came to the Blues' rescue again with yet another one-handed save to repel Alves, who had wriggled free of Vincent Kompany.

Boro's last hope of a leveller disappeared when referee Andre Marriner waved away Marlon King's appeals for a penalty when his last-minute cross struck Bridge on the elbow.

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Topics:
Football
Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
Afonso Alves
Chelsea
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Emanuel Pogatetz
Shay Given
Marlon King
Middlesbrough
Brad Jones
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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