United knew avoiding defeat against the league's bottom side would have delayed its city rival's coronation again, having battled from two goals down to win at the Etihad last weekend, but they turned in an insipid performance which was duly punished by Jay Rodriguez's 73rd-minute header.
The Red Devils were praised for overcoming a bad first half and two-goal deficit to spoil City's title party at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, although some of their players patently took their eye off the ball in the wake of that 3-2 win.
City had won convincingly against Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday, leaving their fate in the hands of United team waiting to engage the Baggies the next day. West Brom, the last place team who is bound for relegation, got some late season happiness by beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.
After the match at Old Trafford, the manager himself was very open and realistic about how Manchester United played.
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Put to Mourinho that confidence would have been high after the Manchester derby, the United boss told MUTV: "Too high".
"We were masters in complication, everything was complicated".
Some players think it is stylish football, ' he said.
"Manchester City, we won it for you" chanted the West Brom fans at the end of a match greeted by jeers by the home faithful.
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Against West Brom, however, it was down to the home side to set the pace in front of their own fans, to establish a dominant pattern in the game. City's experience won't necessarily be the same as Chelsea's obviously, but the Premier League has a way of not letting any one team get too far ahead for too long these days. His players, in other words, have started choosing their games and, in the case of Paul Pogba in particular, it was not a surprise if Mourinho picked up the stench of complacency.
Romelu Lukaku was twice denied by smart saves from Ben Foster, while Jesse Lingard also came close after his introduction from the bench at half-time. Now they were wandering around like zombies, drenched in a Mancunian downpour, losing against the worst team in the league. "I am pleased we managed to show everyone that". Winning titles in every league is important, with Barcelona was special.
"We just keep fighting one game at a time", he added.
Because of goal difference, United realistically needed to win all of their six remaining games and hope City lost their last five matches.
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