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Bellamy strikes to lift City past slumping Boro

CRAIG Bellamy scored his second goal since joining Manchester City to earn his side a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the English Premier League's early game yesterday.

The Wales striker, signed from West Ham United last month, cut in from the right edge of the penalty area after 52 minutes and planted a shot past Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones.

Shay Given made his debut in goal for City after his move from Newcastle United and produced several good saves to deny the visitors who remained second from bottom after a 13th match without victory.

City moved up one place in the league table to ninth.

Liverpool can reclaim top spot later with victory at struggling Portsmouth with leader Manchester United, which is two points clear, not in action until today at West Ham.

In Germany, Arminia Bielefeld prevented Hertha Berlin from going to the top of the Bundesliga by coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw on Friday.

Artur Wichniarek, a former Hertha striker, notched his 12th goal of the season when he met a cross at the far post to head in after 40 minutes.

Visiting Hertha went ahead in the 13th when Andriy Voronin collected a long kick-in from goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny and slotted a low, sharp-angled shot inside the far post.

Voronin, on loan from Liverpool, hit the crossbar five minutes later when he tried to chip in another long cross.

Both teams missed several chances in the second half.

By playing to a draw, Hertha remained provisionally in second place, with 37 points from 19 games, one point behind Hoffenheim. A win would have taken the club from the capital to the top, at least for 24 hours.

Third-placed Hamburg SV was visiting Karlsruhe yesterday while champion Bayern Munich, fourth on 35 points, entertains Borussia Dortmund today.


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