Gareth Barry was the unlikely man to get West Brom's first goal of the Alan Pardew era, but their search for an equaliser ultimately came up short as United held on for the victory.
Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.
This match pits second-from-bottom against second-from-top, with both sides desperate for victory today for very different reasons. The Baggies dropped into the bottom three yesterday while United saw the gap to Manchester City grow even bigger, placing even greater importance on this match for both sides.
Before we take a closer look at that, though, let's first check out the team news...
Well, we will have a look at the hosts in a short while, but let's start with that Manchester United starting lineup as Jose Mourinho makes three changes from the midweek win over Bournemouth. Mourinho handed rare starts to McTominay and Shaw during that match, but they both drop to the bench this afternoon alongside Anthony Martial, with Ashley Young, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford coming in in their place.
The Belgian scored three goals in that incredible 5-5 draw at The Hawthorns, and should he repeat that feat today then he would become the first player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick for both teams in a single fixture. His record against the so-called smaller clubs is good too, netting 30 goals in 38 appearances versus teams outside the established top six since the beginning of last season.
Jesse Lingard has done that to good effect in recent weeks, while Martial has also been in good form in front of goal this season, but the Red Devils probably need more from the likes of Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata in the final third.
Ashley Young does return at left-back, though, while Jones and Smalling resume their centre-back partnership despite the return to fitness of Rojo. Fellaini remains out with a knee injury, which means Herrera comes in alongside Matic in the middle of the park.
Behind them all will be the excellent David de Gea, who has now kept 24 clean sheets since the beginning of the season - a tally which can only be matched by Atletico's Jan Oblak in Europe's top five leagues.
The formation looks like nominally being a 4-3-3 system once again, although as was the case against Liverpool that is more likely to be a 4-5-1 at best in practice should United dominate the ball as expected this afternoon.
Salomon Rondon once again leads the line for West Brom this afternoon, and his main job here is likely to be to hold the ball up and relieve pressure. It is a role that he is more than capable in, but the Venezuelan striker is not exactly a prolific goalscorer.
Barry could have made his 36th Premier League appearance against United this afternoon, which would have left Ryan Giggs (38 vs. Liverpool) as the only player to have faced an opponent more often, but he has failed to recover from a thigh injury in time.
United are one of a few clubs understood to be interested in Evans - along with the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal - and a strong performance against Lukaku and co. could just add a couple more million onto his price tag should the Baggies be considering cashing in on their skipper.
West Brom's form at the moment may well be making his mind up for him, though, with the Baggies coming into this game having failed to win any of their last 16 outings across all competitions - the worst run in the club's entire history.
Two points now separate West Brom from the right side of the dotted line and, with a league-low two wins all season, Alan Pardew will need a quick turnaround in fortunes if they to avoid being cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
Coupled with just two wins, both of which came in August, that is a relegation formula for the Baggies, and the only way that they will start to turn things around is if they are able to score more goals, with only rock-bottom Swansea scoring fewer in the entire division so far.
At the other end things don't need too much improvement, with only Bournemouth having conceded fewer outside the top seven, but when scoring so few that needs to be Alan Pardew's main priority.
A point against Liverpool at Anfield was certainly not a bad result - and West Brom actually came closest to scoring in that match when Robson-Kanu hit the crossbar - but in Pardew's first two matches they took only one point from games against Crystal Palace and Swansea, both of whom were bottom of the table when the Baggies faced them.
Indeed, West Brom have only won one of their last 12 Premier League home games, taking just five points from a possible 36 in that time, with only Swansea amassing fewer points in front of their own fans so far this season.
The Baggies are a full 11 places and nine points worse off after 17 games of this season than they were at the same stage of last term, when they sat eighth in the table after a strong start to the season under Tony Pulis.
The Red Devils were well beaten by Manchester City in the derby last weekend - albeit only by a single goal in the end - while they were far from their best during the midweek 1-0 triumph over Bournemouth too. The Cherries could well have got a point from that match, and that should encourage West Brom heading into this one.
Perhaps more relevant is the fact that Chelsea also won yesterday, drawing level on points with United in what now looks like being a race for second place behind City. United have the chance to open the gap to Chelsea back to three points today - not to mention extending their lead over fifth place - and securing Champions League football again for next season may be their new priority this term with City in such devastating form.
After 17 games of Mourinho's debut campaign at the helm they sat down in sixth, but fast forward a year and they are now four places and eight points better off than at the same stage. Indeed, in previous campaigns their current points tally would have them right in the mix of the title race, but City have just been too good this season.
The main problem, of course, is that the exception in that run came in last weekend's defeat to Man City, which opened up an 11 point gap between the two local rivals. United now look destined to miss out on the title again this season, which would make it their longest wait to be crowned champions of England since their 26-year drought from 1967 to 1993.
Indeed, if only away form counted United would currently sit fourth in the table, despite having won their last two matches on their travels against Watford and Arsenal, scoring seven goals in the process.
It represents a substantial improvement in form on the road, with those back-to-back triumphs at Watford and Arsenal meaning that United have now won as many Premier League away games in their last two outings as they had in their previous 10 before that, during which time they lost four and drew four.
Despite that, though, Mourinho's side still boast the league's best defensive record having conceded only 11 goals in their 17 outings so far, keeping a league-high 10 clean sheets overall.
West Brom will be encouraged by their draw with Liverpool last time out, but their eagerness to get that first goal under Pardew could play into United's hands today. The Red Devils need a win and, even though they haven't been at their very best in recent matches, we are backing them to scrape it.
SPORTS MOLE SAYS: West Brom 0-1 Manchester United
Indeed, in their eight league meetings since Fergie hung up his hairdryer, West Brom have won three, drawn two and lost three, including a goalless draw in the most recent meeting at Old Trafford in April.
Five of those goals came in the unforgettable 5-5 draw at the end of the 2012-13 season when Lukaku scored a hat-trick for West Brom, denying Ferguson's victory in his 1,500th and final game in charge of United.
Indeed, stretching back further than the Premier League era United have now won 10 of their last 13 league visits to his stadium, including a 2-0 triumph in the corresponding fixture last term courtesy of a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
WEST BROM STARTING XI: Foster; Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; Burke, Livermore, Yacob, Krychowiak, McClean; Rondon
MAN UTD STARTING XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young; Herrera, Matic, Mata, Lingard, Rashford; Lukaku
Rashford delivers the cross from the left flank and Lukaku climbs highest between two defenders to glance a fine header past Foster and into the corner! West Brom suddenly have a huge task ahead of them!
Mata pokes the ball into the path of Lingard, who in turn drives one towards goal from the edge of the box. It looks like being a comfortable one for Foster, but Hegazi sticks out a leg and diverts it beyond his helpless goalkeeper.
This one was a very slow burner, with neither side having a meaningful sight of goal until the 27th minute, but United have been clinical when the chances have come their way and they look to be will on course for all three points now.
There was nothing the West Brom keeper could do about the header, with Lukaku drifting in between Evans and Gibbs and making no mistake with his finish from the pinpoint delivery.
Lingard was the man to continue his fine scoring streak, with his effort from the edge of the box taking a huge deflection off Hegazi to divert it past Foster. Foster would have saved it quite comfortably had Hegazi not hung out his leg, but the West Brom defender was trying to block the shot and only succeeded in helping it into the back of the net.
Alan Pardew will have been pretty pleased with his side's performance up to the first goal, but they have not won a single game when conceding the opener so far this season so it looks like a tall order for them to get back into this one now.
It is really poor defending from United as a corner is nodded back into a dangerous area. Barry has the time in the six-yard box to take a touch before placing his finish into the bottom corner with the type of composure you wouldn't expect from a player of his ilk.
As it was, first-half goals from Lukaku and Lingard proved to be enough for United despite Gareth Barry's reply in the second half, with the visitors closing the gap on Manchester City back to 14 points.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's match as United hold off a spirited challenge from West Brom to record a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns! I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!