Louis van Gaal now fears Juan Mata’s “stupid” red card will condemn Manchester United to a devastating double blow as their top-four aspirations were badly dented.
Meanwhile West Brom snatched their First league win over United at home in 32 years thanks to Salomon Rondon’s 66th minute goal.
The shocking defeat left Manchester United sixth after West Ham managed to climb above them in the race for top four with Manchester City fourth on 50 points.
Boss Van Gaal had no other choice but to bemoan Mata’s two first half bookings in quick succession which ultimately saw referee Mike Dean giving him march order on 26th minute.
The Dutch manager now warned of the repercussions of their four-match winning run being ended and playing 64 minutes with only 10 men ahead of Thursday’s Europa League first leg tie with Liverpool could affect badly.
LVG moaned: “We lost and you lose contact with the first four or five.
“This match has also an influence on the next match so for us it is very bad, a bad moment.
“It was in my opinion an unnecessary loss, we don’t deserve to lose. When you see at the end that the chances West Bromwich Albion had in comparison with us it is an unnecessary loss.
“It is difficult to create chances with 10 against 11. So I think the decision was for us the turning point in the match.
“His second offence was a foul but is that also always a yellow card?
“You saw the first three tackles of West Brom to our players – no yellow cards. But the referee gave two yellow cards in five minutes at the same person.”
Van Gaal also claimed referee Mike Dean should also have considered the fact that Mata has never been sent off before in the Premier League, so the second yellow was a bit harsh.
The Spanish midfielder was first cautioned when he blocked Darren Fletcher to take a quick free-kick and then booked again for hacking down the same player.
Van Gaal further said: “The first was a stupid yellow card. You know it is a yellow card in advance. As a player you have to know when you have a yellow card.
“You have to take care of that. You can always get a yellow card and then it is a red card.”
Juan Mata is vastly known as a thoroughly good bloke and an expensive footballer, while former Chelsea team-mates having often commented on his resemblance to Nookie Bear. But last night Mata appeared more like the literal translation of his name from Spanish to English – Johnny Kills. Mata went off and had to watch the whole second half from the window of the press room and would have wished he had not bothered.
On a night when a 10-man Liverpool came from behind to snatch an away win, United merely looked like doing the same. They actually managed only one shot on goal, a weak early attempt, and so they go into a mighty Europa League double-header against their bitter rivals on some seriously low note.