Football: Bellamy's impersonation of Owen stuns leaders

Norwich City 4 Huddersfield Town 1
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The Independent Online
WATCHING Craig Bellamy, it is impossible not to think of Michael Owen. The two bear unmistakable similarities: both are of a similar age, both 5ft 9in tall, both precociously gifted in the art of scoring goals.

Bobby Gould, who has wasted little time in promoting Bellamy from the under-21s to the senior Welsh national team, reckons his prodigy is every bit as good as England's. Until Bellamy plays in the Premiership, judgement must be reserved on that one. However, there is no doubt that he is a boy with enormous talent.

On Saturday, when he scored two goals and set up another in a defeat that cost Huddersfield the First Division leadership, Bellamy was Owen all over, embarrassing defenders with his lightning pace and scoring goals with the same steely-eyed certainty with which Owen simply takes the breath away.

He stunned Huddersfield by waltzing around their goalkeeper after 84 seconds and did it again 28 minutes later. Then, three minutes before half-time, he helped Iwan Roberts to the first of his two goals. Game over.

Norwich turned down pounds 1m from Crystal Palace for Bellamy last season, when he was top scorer with 13 goals despite playing largely in midfield. It was good business on Norwich's part. Now that they have given him his head up front, which is clearly where he wants to be, his valuation has risen sharply. Already this season he has 12 goals for Norwich and two for Wales and it would take a very large cheque to prise him away now. But big numbers do not necessarily put off wealthy predators and Bellamy's rise will test the ambition of what is traditionally a selling club.

After their six-week run as top dogs, Huddersfield, meanwhile, must take a close look at themselves. Unbeaten at home, they have lost five times away, usually by comprehensive scores. "You would think we were a different side," Peter Jackson, their manager, admitted.

"Today defensively we were a shambles. We came here last year and lost 5-0 and I apologised to the fans. I think I shall have to do so again."

Goals: Bellamy (2) 1-0; Bellamy (30) 2-0; Roberts (41) 3-0; Roberts (49) 4-0; Beresford (59) 4-1.

Norwich City (4-4-2): A Marshall; Kenton, Jackson, Fleming, Fuglestad; Sutch (Adams, 88), L Marshall, Brannan, Eadie; Bellamy (O'Neill, 85), Roberts. Substitutes not used: Watt.

Huddersfield Town (5-3-2): Vaesen; Jenkins, Gray (Barnes h-t), Morrison, Dyson, Edwards; Beresford, Phillips (Browning h-t), Horne; Allison (Thornley h-t), Stewart.

Referee: P Taylor (Cheshunt).

Bookings: Huddersfield: Edwards, Dyson, Barnes.

Man of the match: Bellamy.

Attendance: 15,403.

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