West Bromwich Albion 0 Sunderland 1
If you look at the facts in the cold light of day, it doesn't make for impressive reading.
Zoltan Gera's 94th-minute equaliser at the Stadium of Light last September is all that prevented Albion from failing to garner a single point against Sunderland this season.
That's right. The very same Sunderland team who had taken one point from their previous 13 fixtures before Saturday.
Mick McCarthy's beleaguered troops are on course to be the worst Premiership side in history with only nine points thus far, yet they still beat Albion.
And to compound matters, club officials in the press area afterwards claimed it was one of their worst performances of the season.
Quite what Rupert Murdoch would have made of this encounter, had he seen it on his own pay-per-view channel, is anyone's guess.
This was supposed to be the day that Albion recorded consecutive victories for the first time this season in the Premiership and take a giant leap towards Premiership safety.
* Did you see the game? Visit our messageboard and give us your verdict *
Instead, they lurched back into trouble with a performance so bad that there isn't an adjective in the English dictionary to describe it.
It was a collective bad day at the office and in future, when games are being categorised, there will be 'bad', 'nondescript', 'shocking' and finally, 'Albion v Sunderland 21.01.06'.
Sunderland spent the whole of the first half waiting for Albion to score and then, when they realised that this might just be their lucky day, grew in stature and embarrassed Bryan Robson's men.
Albion's manager has intimated that he might take his team for a bout of warm-weather training in Florida again, as he did last year, in an effort to regenerate a squad that looks on the slippery slope.
Two months ago, after their exhilarating victory over Everton, Albion appeared to have turned the corner and were producing some compelling football.
Victories over Manchester City and Tottenham seemed to confirm it, but there have been too many days where they just haven't turned up and the next ten days are critical.
Will chairman Jeremy Peace loosen the buckle around Robson's transfer war-chest, to enable him to procure much-needed new blood?
Robson will be glued to his television set hoping that Senegal and Nigeria occupy the bottom two positions in Group D of the African Cup of Nations, thus ensuring Diomansy Kamara and Kanu return home in time for the visit of Blackburn on February 4. Because, as present, goals are looking about as likely as Sunderland's survival.
Robert Earnshaw has burned his bridges after an abject performance against Reading in midweek, compounded by the fact that his transfer request has finally been accepted.
Kevin Campbell is looking 12 months older, while Geoff Horsfield isn't yet fully fit and Nathan Ellington's confidence is draining away with each goalless game.
Gera is unlikely to play a major role in this campaign and Albion's midfield looked lacklustre. However, the jeering of Darren Carter by a section of the Birmingham Road End was nothing short of scandalous.
Granted, it wasn't one of his most memorable performances in an Albion shirt, but Carter could never be accused of hiding and it wasn't his fault Albion lost.
His first touch could have been better but Liam Lawrence clearly fouled him before releasing Anthony Le Tallec inside Albion's penalty area.
Deflections off Paul Robinson and then Steve Watson conspired to deceive Tomasz Kuszczak and Albion supporters were thinking the unthinkable.
Yet Carter wasn't culpable for Sunderland's goal as his incident took place on the halfway line and if Albion supporters decide to single out scapegoats at this stage of the campaign, it will be self-defeating.
They already have a squad that is stretched to the limit by injuries and Robson needs every possible option; he doesn't need players petrified of making a mistake for fear of being castigated by supporters.
Albion did squander a thimbleful of opportunities, but they scarcely deserved more than a point.
It might have been different if Junichi Inamoto had deflected Ronnie Wallwork's shot past Kelvin Davis, or Ellington guided his shot from Watson's astute ball under the crossbar.
But it really wasn't good enough against a side that was leaking goals at virtually two per fixture prior to this encounter.
However, the ramifications of this defeat depend entirely on what sort of reaction Robson generates from his play-ers for their visit to Charlton in ten days' time.
There is no denying that an influx of new faces would invigorate his squad, as they need to accumulate points before their horrible run of fixtures in March and April.
Robson is a phlegmatic character and won't dwell on this defeat for longer than necessary, so he should have stopped worrying about it by now. However, he needs to transmit that aura of tranquillity to supporters and his playing squad; otherwise, it is going to be a fraught final four months for Albion.