Championship - Bellamy stunner downs Swansea

Sun, 06 Feb 15:13:00 2011

Craig Bellamy struck a sensational winner to give Cardiff City a 1-0 win over local rivals Swansea City in the Championship at the Liberty Stadium.

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The on-loan Manchester City striker, whose every touch had been booed by the Swansea faithful, fired a thunderbolt past keeper Dorus de Vries with just five minutes remaining to settle the second South Wales derby of the season.

Victory for Cardiff sees the Bluebirds move up to third while Swansea, who passed up the opportunity to become the first of the two rivals to ever claim a league double in the same season, drop to fifth.

With both clubs gunning for promotion to the Premier League and with so much at stake in terms of local bragging rights, it came as no surprise that the first half turned out to be a cagey and tight affair.

It could have been much different though had Jay Bothroyd not spurned a glorious opportunity to open the scoring with not even a minute on the clock.

The ball fell rather fortuitously at the feet of the Cardiff striker, who had a clear sight of goal, but he was caught cold and shot tamely wide of the far upright.

Otherwise, clear-cut goalscoring opportunities during the opening period were at a premium; Michael Chopra went closest when he stabbed against the post after Aaron Ramsey's shot had been parried to him by De Vries, but it would not have counted anyway with the flag raised for offside.

After the break, the game opened up slightly, but it was Cardiff who again enjoyed the better of the chances.

Paul Quinn headed wide of the mark before substitute Darcy Blake nearly capped a brilliant run forward with a goal; his shot cannoned back off the upright with De Vries beaten all ends up.

At the other end, Scott Sinclair looked lively for Swansea but other than a shot into the side netting with 10 minutes remaining, the former Chelsea man failed to test Tom Heaton in the Cardiff goal.

Indeed, Heaton was underused throughout and the game appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate until Bellamy popped up in the 85th minute to crash a first-time shot in off the inside of the post following a neat one-two with Ramsey.

The goal, worthy of settling any game, silenced the Swansea boo-boys while Cardiff fans were left to celebrate a crucial win in terms of their promotion campaign - and in terms of avenging the 1-0 reverse at home to their bitter enemies earlier in the season.


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