By Suhas BhatFollow @@suhasrbhat
United hosted the side with the worst defensive record at Old Trafford and were trailing for a majority of the game.
They lumped in 81 crosses and scored two goals, only one of which was the result of a delivery from out wide.
Reknowned in the recent past for their ability to steal a point in the dying minutes, the Red Devils were sucker-punched when Darren Bent prodded home the equaliser in the 94th for Fulham.
The reigning champions are now nine points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool and even qualification to the Europa League seems a challenging proposition.
What exactly is going wrong with Moyes' United? I'm no Mr. Yap but it's clear that Moyes' methods are a drastic departure from those of his predecessor.
The faltering Rooney-RVP connection
Apart from the kick-off, Wayne Rooney passed to strike partner Robin van Persie just once in Sunday's draw, according to FourFourTwo's Stats Zone. This has been a regular pattern and it makes you think whether Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to drop the England international deeper down the pitch was an astute one.
Rooney likes to run with the ball from deep while Van Persie is a classic poacher.
Van Persie has a much higher shooting accuracy, though, and therefore it seemed natural to maximise his goalscoring opportunities even if it was at the expense of the club talisman.
Obviously, Moyes instead believes the duo can work together. But even as Rooney operates in the hole, it's clear from that statistic that he sees himself primarily as a goalscorer instead of an attacking midfielder.
Just three goals in in as many months as well as this selfish tendency makes you wonder if the 28-year-old is really playing for the team.
And given the fact that Rooney has scored in five of United’s last six games against Fulham in all competitions, perhaps he was especially keen to score against the Cottagers.
Overuse of the English channel
Moyes appears overly enthusiastic in utilising wingers in his tactics. But in Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, the side do not have strong crossers of the ball.
Young, in particular, has lost his confidence of late and just one out of his 16 crosses were successful on the night. The ex-Aston Villa man clearly needs to put in extra shifts in training.
Mata was stationed on the right side of midfield but his tendency to drift inward and drive towards goal meant that his crosses were way too early.
This penchant for attacking from the wings has proven costly as United have made 719 crosses this season with the accuracy being just 20.72%, the figure being the sixth-worst in the league.
Moreover, it has proven to be at the detriment of players such as Shinji Kagawa. And Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick have become so accustomed to passing the ball sideways that they might be losing their penetrative edge as well.
The lack of through-balls, in general, is a worrying sign and can be partially attributed to a risk-averse approach brought about by the dip in confidence following the side's poor results this term.
In contrast, they were much more relaxed last season as evidenced by the wonderful combination play between Rooney and Van Persie that led to the superb volley against Aston Villa.
Tired legs and tired minds in the United defence
The biggest shock ahead of the match was captain Nemanja Vidic's decision to leave the club in the summer after providing seven years of hardened service in the United defence.
But in a way, it can be seen as welcome news as the old guard lack the sharpness that saw them concede a mere 33 goals in the 2011/12 season.
The warning signs were there last season as United shipped ten more than that total. The rollercoaster 5-5 draw in Ferguson's final game in charge against West Brom should have raised alarm bells for the new man in charge.
Concerned, however, with the United midfield as he was, Moyes did not address this problem in the two transfer windows. Instead, he gambled that the veterans would have the necessary experience to make up for any loss of pace, agility or endurance.
With each passing game, their lack of pace has been found out and the absence of a defensive anchorman (the central midfield duo made just a solitary tackle between them against Fulham) has meant that United have had to rely extensively on David de Gea's goalkeeping ability.
The Spaniard, to his credit, has done quite well.
While United peppered the Fulham goal with 31 shots, it must be remembered that Fulham were quite dangerous on the attack.
The Spaniard really did all that he could to keep out Kieran Richardson's shot but unfortunately, Bent was nearby to take advantage at the end.
Rene Meulensteen has a similar problem at Fulham and boldly dropped Brede Hangeland for this fixture and opted for the 1.98-metre tall Dan Burn who responded to the Dutchman's call with a sterling performance.
A widening gap
“Today was as bad as it gets,” said Moyes after the game. United fans will have to hope that he's right.
Olympiacos are their opponents in the Champions League round of 16 later in the month but on this showing, United can't hold out much hope of advancing far in that competition. A season without European football seems increasingly likely.
The champions are regressing and will definitely need a summer of reconstruction.
Until then, it would be best for Moyes to adapt his tactics to the team instead of getting the team to play to his tune.
If he doesn't believe in such an assessment, all he has to do is talk to Arsene Wenger who will have a thing or two to say about the matter at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.