Bruno Fernandes scored a sensational volley for Manchester United to maintain their unbeaten away record, but they could not seal all three points against West Brom in a 1-1 draw.
But once again, United fell behind early on when Mbaye Diagne nodded West Brom into a shock lead after just 83 seconds. But, having taken 21 points from losing positions this season, there was hope for United.
Despite a sluggish first-half performance, it was another moment of magic from Fernandes (44) that hauled the visitors level as he fired home a powerful volley.
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- Match stats | How the teams lined up
- Premier League table | Premier League top scorers
- Premier League fixtures | Premier League results
United were much improved after the break and had a penalty overturned by VAR after it judged Semi Ajayi had not made enough contact to foul Harry Maguire.
West Brom could also have snatched a late winner, but Diagne missed two glorious chances, while Maguire saw an effort tipped over the bar by Sam Johnstone with the last kick of the game.
United's unbeaten away run in the Premier League now stands at 19 games and they go back into second on goal difference, seven points behind leaders Manchester City. The draw does little to boost West Brom's hopes of survival as they remain in 19th with 13 points.
How West Brom held Man Utd
It took less than two minutes for West Brom to score. Diagne was a handful against Spurs and made himself even more of a nuisance against United. Connor Gallagher looped a cross into the area and Diagne wrapped himself around the back of Victor Lindelof to not the ball home. The United defender was calling for a foul but in truth, Diagne was just physically stronger.
Both sides sent efforts wide just after. A superb Marcus Rashford cross was seen behind by Lee Peltier just ahead of Anthony Martial before Diagne headed wide from a Matheus Pereira free-kick. David de Gea then made a good save to tip a powerful Robert Snodgrass header over the crossbar.
West Brom: Johnstone (7), Peltier (7), Ajayi (7), Bartley (7), Townsend (7), Yokuslu (7), Snodgrass (7), Maitland-Niles (7), Gallagher (7), Pereira (6), Diagne (8).
Subs used: Furlong (7), Livermore (5), Phillips (n/a).
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (7), Shaw (7), McTominay (7), Fred (6), Fernandes (7), Rashford (7), Martial (6), Cavani (7).
Subs used: Greenwood (6), Van de Beek (6).
Man of the match: Mbaye Diagne.
Despite a sluggish first-half performance, United dominated the ball with 71.1 per cent possession and finally made it count just before half-time. It was a sensational finish from Fernandes too as Luke Shaw floated a cross in from the left, with the midfielder firing home a powerful volley to haul the visitors level.
United were much better after half-time, and were awarded a penalty just after the hour mark. Maguire had gone down with Ajayi at his back and Craig Pawson tentatively pointed to the spot. But after a check of the pitchside monitor, the referee withdrew his decision with not enough contact made to give the foul. Maguire also look to be offside in the build-up, although this did not appear to have been checked.
- West Brom made two changes. Romain Sawyers and Karlan Grant dropped to the bench, replaced by Matheus Pereira and Okay Yokuslu, who made his full Premier League debut.
- Man Utd also made two changes from their last Premier League game. Paul Pogba missed out through injury while Mason Greenwood dropped to the bench. Fred and Anthony Martial came back into the XI.
United could have added another soon after, but were denied on the line. Maguire nodded down Shaw's corner, finding Mason Greenwood, but his attempt was stopped by Johnstone's outstretched foot. Scott McTominay then tried to net the rebound but Darnell Furlong cleared off the line.
Diagne had missed two excellent chances to score another late on. After using his physicality to get past Lindelof for the opener, he did the same thing to Maguire at the top of the area, before seeing his effort saved by De Gea. The goalkeeper then clawed away the striker's attempt to nod home the rebound. Soon after, he blazed the ball wide after a superb cross from Furlong in what would have been a sensational winner.
Maguire almost ensured all three points went back to Manchester, but was thwarted by the fingertips of Johnstone. He nodded a powerful header goalwards, but the West Brom goalkeeper tipped it onto the crossbar.
Man of the match - Mbaye Diagne
It was a really wonderful performance from the new West Brom striker. He had two goals disallowed for offside against Spurs, but finally found the breakthrough early on against Man Utd.
He showed some super physicality throughout, easily getting around Lindelof and Maguire on two separate occasions. Diagne could have scored a hat-trick for his afternoon's efforts too, but missed two glorious late chances. The effort wide was a particularly agonising one, and the striker needs to net those if West Brom have a hope of beating relegation.
Graeme Souness on Sky Sports:
"This is such a bad result for Manchester United. He's just said it's a difficult place to come, West Brom have won one game at home against the bottom team, that's a difficult place to go if you're second or third in the league?
"West Brom had the better chances. That is an exceptionally poor performance and result for Manchester United, when you think they've got a chance of putting the pressure on Manchester City. Nah."
West Brom manager Sam Allardyce said: "It was a fantastic point and a game we could easily have won on the chances we created. I'm really pleased with how we set our tactics out, we were brilliant in the way we controlled the element of Manchester United's threat. They were limited to little or no chances, but it was an absolutely brilliant goal [from Fernandes], so you have to hold your hands up for that.
"In the second half, we contained the opposition again, limited them and then started breaking away to create opportunities. Our big man, Mbaye, scored a great goal today but he could have had three. He could have been the winner for us today.
"I'm really pleased for the players with their application, the way they nullified the opposition and the way they used possession as best as they possibly could… Overall, the whole team has performed to their best level consistently over 90 minutes and I can't ask any more than that.
"It's another point to try and get us on the move, going forward without losing football matches. Can we put an undefeated run of games together? The effort we put in today needs to be match when we go to Burnley next week. It'll be a different type of game and tactics, but if we get to the top of our game and create opportunities, hopefully we'll be there to finish them off."
Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "No one will give it [the Premier League title race] away this early. This season is so unpredictable, life is so unpredictable, anything can happen and of course we're not going to settle for second.
"It's a compliment to the boys that we've gotten ourselves into the position we're in. We're the team closest [to Man City] and we should be challenging the team in front of us.
"We're not going to let them get away with it, but we need to win games to be in that position.
"At the moment, that record [19 games unbeaten away in the Premier League] doesn't mean anything. We are in desperate need of three points because we want to move up the table and you don't do that by getting one point away from home. It's a disappointing outcome today.
"Then again some of the play was really good, some of the performances were really good so there are some positive. But overall, we're disappointed with one point only.
"We built loads of pressure, created pressure, pegged them back but I didn't feel we created enough big moments to score the goals. We didn't have the aura.
"Saying that, we did get down the sides and flashed a few crosses down the line but maybe the cross, or the position or the movement wasn't there. We didn't have big moments that you felt should have been a goal disappointingly, even though the ball was in the last third all the time apart from a few counter-attacks, which is always dangerous when you have Premier League players against you."
Manchester United defender Harry Maguire on Sky Sports:
"I was so certain it was a penalty. I don't understand why he's been sent to check it.
"I'm goalside of the defender, I feel a touch on my shoulder, he's pulling me back, and then I feel a clip on my heels as well. It was minimal, but it's a penalty, especially after the referee points to the spot you think there's no chance it's getting overturned.
"I was so confident it was going to be given, but it seems like the decisions at the moment are going against us. We can't be relying on VAR though, we huffed and puffed and have to improve.
"We created enough to win the game, the goal for me is a foul, but at the end we huffed and puffed and it's a great save from Sam.
"We'd dominated the game, we can do more but it's disappointing. It was a tough start to concede so early, I think it's a foul for the goal, but we showed a good reaction and sometimes played a bit too slow, but had a good tempo in the second half and on another day score two or three goals."
- Manchester United have won just one of their last five Premier League games (D3 L1), their 9-0 hammering of Southampton at Old Trafford.
- West Brom have won only one of their 11 Premier League matches under Sam Allardyce (W1 D3 L7), shipping nine more goals than any other team since his first match in charge (29).
- Manchester United are unbeaten in all 12 away Premier League matches this season (W8 D4), only the fourth time a team has avoided defeat in their first 12 away Premier League games of a season: Arsenal in 2001/02 and 2003/04 and Liverpool in 2019/20, all of whom went on to win the title.
- Man Utd left-back Luke Shaw registered his fifth Premier League assist of the season, the most he's ever managed in a single season. In fact, Shaw only had seven assists in 156 Premier League appearances before this campaign.
Live Premier League
West Brom are back on Sky Sports next weekend when they visit Burnley on Saturday; kick-off 3pm. Manchester United return to Europa League last-32 action on Thursday when they face Real Sociedad at the Juventus Stadium in Italy; kick-off 5.55pm. They then host Newcastle next Sunday in the Premier League; kick-off 7pm.