Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan was highly critical of his team's performance after a 15th consecutive loss in the Aviva Premiership looked to have buried their survival hopes.
Worcester gave opponents Sale an early 11-point advantage and the visitors ran out 24-12 winners.
Ryan said: "I'm pretty disappointed, we looked paralysed for the first 20 minutes and we are not good enough to be half-baked against anyone.
"We can't seem to solve what freezes us at the start of the game.
"We can produce big emotional performances against Saracens and Leicester but in games where we have a realistic chance of winning, we give the opposition a flying start which is hard to understand."
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond paid tribute to his side's defence.
"We were in total control for the first 20 minutes but they came back at us. We managed to stave them off in the second quarter and that's what won us the game, as after half-time we became dominant in the scrum," Diamond said.
Mark Cueto celebrated his 200th league appearance for Sale with the opening try, drawing huge praise from Diamond.
"He is a great servant to the game and a great ambassador for Sale and England," Diamond added.
"If Wayne Rooney can get three hundred grand a week, what is Cueto worth?"