Last updated : 22 August 2004 By editor

'As the unspeakably ineffective Diego Forlán ended his Manchester United career under cover of darkness, it was left to England striker Alan Smith to prove that Sir Alex Ferguson can still identify a quality forward when he needs to, the look of relief on the manager's face when the £7million man scored what would prove to be the winning goal speaking volumes.

Forlán departed for Villareal for £1.2m hours before United kicked off their second Premiership game of the campaign in the surreal position of twentieth, and last, in the table. It was probably no exaggeration to say that without Smith's performance, and given the unfamiliar look of an injury-hit United team, they might still be there this morning. Maker of the opening goal for David Bellion, taker of the second early in the second half, Smith could still have ended up the game on the drawing side if Norwich had possessed slightly more self-belief.'