David Moyes found out on Saturday that succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of the most dominant team in Premier League history was even harder than he may have imagined. Losing to Manchester City at the Etihad is one thing - even Sir Alex had endured that - but failing to take any points at home to West Bromwich Albion is another matter altogether and something his predecessor had never experienced.
Normally when United suffer a rare home defeat, it's something of a smash and grab mission by an away side who've soaked up the pressure for much of the game and managed to sneak a lucky goal or two.
Saturday was a different story: to West Brom's credit, they almost matched United in the amount of attempts they had and although Steve Clarke's men had less possession, it wasn't a gritty win one would associate with an away triumph at Old Trafford. This is proven by the fact West Brom created eight chances in open play (Man United created 10), while the Baggies also managed an impressive 12 attempts at Old Trafford.
The performance graph highlights how United have failed to make the most of the first half, a trait which has cost them valuable points this season. Despite being on top for the first 45 minutes, the champions failed to take advantage and by the time United began to look as though they could make a breakthrough Morgan Amalfitano's goal knocked the wind out of their sails.
However, United reacted well, with Wayne Rooney levelling the score, but instead of capitalising on the momentum of scoring, West Brom took hold of the game, thanks to a well taken goal by youngster Saido Berahino.
When all's said and done it's all about taking your chances and that was the main difference between the two sides. United may have shaded it in terms of possession and been more dominant performance-wise but West Brom converted their opportunities. Yet again, Moyes's men were left looking lacklustre when it comes to finishing. United have not scored a goal in open play in the Premier League since their first game of the season against Swansea and this paints a concerning picture for the champions.
Furthermore, the performance of Rio Ferdinand was the cause of some frustration for the United faithful on Saturday. The 34-year-old attempted four aerial duels against West Brom but failed to win any. The centre-back also failed to attempt a single tackle and made only one interception. This is concerning for United, as it suggests that Ferdinand has become rather exploitable, especially when playing against a fast winger or pacey centre-forward.
After falling behind for the second time, the champions only created two chances and had three attempts at goal. One must consider that United had 20 minutes to play after trailing 2-1. This is a big concern for Moyes, as it indicates that United failed to test their opponents and enforce themselves when they most needed a performance from their players.