West Ham United 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
Kanu and Teddy Sheringham are old sparring partners from north London, but in this corner of east London, the old- timer took centre-stage.
With both sides operating a conventional 4-4-2 system, it was left to the former Tottenham and Arsenal stars to operate as the conduit between the rival sides' midfield and strike-force.
While West Bromwich Albion's Kanu is undoubtedly a magician with the football at his feet and West Ham's Sheringham is far more economical with his use of the ball, it was the latter who was more effective during this pulsating encounter.
Kanu started in sprightly fashion and was at the fulcrum of Albion's best work, while Sheringham retained h i s impish qualities and looked full of zest for a man approaching his 40th birthday.
But, most importantly of all, he scored the only goal with a razor-sharp finish after being afforded the freedom of Upton Park to latch on to Christian Dailly's header and rifle a low shot past Baggies goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
Therein lies the problem for Bryan Robson's team; pleasing to the eye they most certainly are, with the likes of Kanu, Diomansy Kamara and Junichi Inamoto all capable of producing the unexpected.
It is a potentially explosive cocktail of talent and quite clearly more appetising than what was on the menu last term.
However, it also proved to be ultimately unpalatable, as they failed to excite where it really matters. Slick passing and tricky footwork is peripheral in the grander scheme of things and the harsh truth is that Albion, at present, aren't good enough in either penalty area.
Gallant defeats are dangerous because they can lull you into a false sense of security and while Albion bossed possession in the second half and created a multitude of chances, they still lost.
The biggest culprit in terms of profligacy was undoubtedly Kamara. He was Albion's most creative player by a country mile and his inclusion always gives Robson's team an extra dimension, but he flattered to deceive.
A first-half header from point- blank range went straight at Hammers goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and Kamara chose the wrong options on two occasions when a better pass would have resulted in a certain goal for Inamoto or Rob Earnshaw.
He saved his 'best' till last when, with only three minutes remaining, he sliced horribly wide after Ronnie Wallwork's cushioned header had put him clear on goal.
In Kamara's defence, he is usually the architect of his own chances and his presence unsettles opposition defenders like no other player in an Albion shirt.
Throw in a couple of presentable efforts from Steve Watson and Wallwork and it is apparent that Albion are still carving out a host of goalscoring opportunities.
West Ham, too, had ample opportunities of their own.
Kuszczak had to be alert to deny Marlon Harewood and Yossi Benayoun on more than one occasion and when he was finally beaten, Curtis Davies performed heroics on the goalline to prevent Benayoun's shot breaking the deadlock.
West Ham prides itself on being the Academy of football but the 2005 version under Alan Pardew is far more pragmatic and robust and caused Albion problems with its' direct approach.
It eventually proved to be the visitors' undoing when Daily knocked down Tomas Repka's long, diagonal freekick to find the wily old Sheringham loitering in space and he was clinical enough to settle an exhilarating match.
Albion can draw a lot of positives from this fixture, just as they could against Bolton and Newcastle, but they have failed to garner a single point from three games.
It isn't unique to Robson's men, as Birmingham City and Aston Villa will both consider themselves unfortunate not to have taken at least a point for their efforts over the weekend, as well. But they didn't.
The biggest consolation for Albion is that Sunderland and Portsmouth appear to be incapable of dragging themselves out of the mire too and could well occupy two of the relegation positions come May.
That leaves one more up for grabs and, on current form, it is going to be filled by someone from the West Midlands.
Supporters from the east end of London aren't known for being charitable and, basking in the glory of their victory, they cruelly chanted: 'you're going down with the Villa' to Albion's sizeable away following.
Unless either one of Albion's six strikers can catch fire, or the defence can stop leaking goals from set-pieces, then one thing is for sure: it will be a long, hard winter.
Everton are next on the agenda in two weeks' time and it is a nailed-on certainty that they will be launching hand-grenades into Albion's penalty area for the likes of Duncan Ferguson and James Beattie.
Albion will have to be prepared. They are sure to be more pleasing on the eye but, in the cold, hard, world of professional football, it is results that matter.