Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United blew a major opportunity after losing their 29-match unbeaten record at Wolves.
Victory against the Barclays Premier League's bottom side would have allowed United to open up a seven point advantage over second-placed Arsenal. But on a sensational day in the top flight, the visitors failed to capitalise on Nani's third-minute opener and eventually succumbed rather more meekly than anyone could have imagined.
"It was an opportunity," said Ferguson.
"I said before the game, I do think Wolves are in a false position. But we had a great start. We made a lot of chances, particularly in the first half.
"Then in the second we were not at the races. Their keeper did not have many saves to make. The pitch was not very good but we didn't make anything."
United were not helped by the disruption caused due to the calf injury Rio Ferdinand suffered in the warm-up.
Ferdinand will be out for a fortnight with the problem - a period that includes an England friendly in Denmark on Wednesday and next Saturday's Manchester derby - and the subsequent reshuffle left United exposed, with Wolves getting both of their goals through crosses into the box.
"It was a blow because the experience Rio has got is always vital in games like that," said Ferguson.
"Normally I would have put Chris Smalling there. He has been playing recently.
"But we had to pull Chris in as a substitute because Jonny (Evans) had already done the warm-up." Ferguson is not happy that he will now lose a great percentage of his squad to international duty.