West Brom boss Tony Mowbray slammed Stoke City's playing style after their 1-0 defeat.
Stoke, who finished runners-up to Albion in last season's Coca-Cola Championship, followed in the recent footsteps of Liverpool and Chelsea in sending Baggies supporters home disappointed - albeit in slightly different circumstances.
Where the title contenders each ran three unanswered goals past Mowbray's men, Stoke came away with the points after Mamady Sidibe broke what had been a stultifying stalemate in the 84th minute.
His headed goal, angled expertly across goalkeeper Scott Carson from Danny Higginbotham's drifted cross, was a rare moment of quality in a drab affair.
And it was the style of football, as much as the result, which frustrated Mowbray.
"I don't want to be harsh but I thought it was a pretty dross game of football," said Mowbray. "I don't think there was too much to talk about, it was a pretty poor match.
"I can't remember them having too many chances but we've lost 1-0 and it's disappointing that we didn't create enough chances ourselves."
Indeed, Potters goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen remained virtually untested throughout the game, with lone striker Ishmael Miller twice shooting over as he fed on scraps in front of a midfield five.
Mowbray admitted that feeble return in the final third goes against his own footballing principles, but insisted it was tough to open up the game.
"You may describe Stoke a physical side - you've got to be physically ready to come here and I thought we did that admirably today," he said.
"Sometimes that makes for a less enjoyable football match, less of a spectacle.
"But there you go, all that matters in the eyes of some is the result.
"You know my philosophy. My view is that I like to entertain the supporters who come and pay their hard-earned money and I thought that was very difficult to do here."