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.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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