Manchester United slipped to their eighth Premier League defeat of the season, as Charlie Adam scored twice to hand Stoke City a 2-1 win.
Adam's goals sandwiched an effort from Robin van Persie, as another nail was hammered into the defence of United's crown.
The champions were dealt an early blow. Jonny Evans was forced off on account of injury, prompting David Moyes to shuffle his pack.
While the injury to Evans did not look serious, that was not the case when team-mate Phil Jones went off on a stretcher.
The powerful defender appeared to clash heads with Jon Walters and was treated for some time on the pitch before being taken off on a stretcher.
In between the two injuries, chances were at a premium on account of the blustery conditions.
Wayne Rooney saw an early volley fizz narrowly wide, while at the other end Stoke were finding it tough to make any impression.
Stoke did take the lead on 38 minutes, although it was not a classic.
Adam made poor contact with a free-kick, but it hit Michael Carrick on the knee and flew past the wrong-footed keeper David De Gea.
United needed a response, and a minute into the second half they produced it through van Persie. He delivered a calm finish to Juan Mata’s clever pass.
8 - Robin van Persie is the first player in Premier League history to score in eight successive appearances against a single opponent. Great— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 1, 2014
The visitors were not on level terms for long, as Adam produced a brilliant swerving effort that fizzed into the top corner.
Charlie Adam nets his first Premier League brace in 1,050 days. He last netted twice in a PL match for Blackpool vs Blackburn in March 2011.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 1, 2014
Marko Arnautovic should have put the game beyond United just past the hour, but he passed up a clear-cut opening.
A poor clearance from Chris Smalling landed at the feet of Arnautovic, but he curled his shot wide of the target from 10 yards.
United had chances to snatch a point, but Ashley Young wasted a great headed opening, and Asmir Begovic tipped a Rooney free-kick onto the bar.
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United boss Moyes spoke to Sky Sports after the game, and he felt his side were unlucky to slip to defeat.
I don’t know what we have to do to win. We played well today. With the amount of opportunities we had, we should have won the game comfortably.
We have only ourselves to blame.
You are never satisfied when you lose, but I thought we played well in difficult conditions.
Up next for the champions is a home game with struggling Fulham, while Stoke will be on their travels at Southampton.
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