Manchester United's season so far has been dogged by injuries, suspensions and sudden collapses in form. It doesn't help that players are then forced to play in strange positions with strange formations, with the issue further exacerbated by losses to lesser teams.
Here's a look at some of the unexpected losses of United's season so far.
Granted, Manchester United had a makeshift back line consisting of two midfielders, but it was still a big surprise to see United concede not one or two but three goals against a bottom-of-the-league side using a 4-5-1 formation.
In a Champions League group stage battle for survival, most would have fancied Manchester United to sweep aside FC Basel like they did in the glory days of 2007 against Roma when United were similarly faced with elimination from the Champions League.
However, no one expected United to be the blunt weapon they were against Basel. The team lacked verve, cohesiveness and urgency—it was an unexpected sight to see from a Manchester United team.
Undoubtedly the big downer in the first five months [of the 2011-12 season] was going out of the Champions League at the group stage.
And figuring out the reasons for the disappointment, my conclusion was that it wasn’t a matter of not being good enough but that we had been careless in a competition that is unremittingly relentless.
It is widely accepted that Manchester City have turned into an incredibly potent footballing force with the vast amount of money that has been invested into the club.
What no one expected and what some may not want to accept is how vastly superior City were to United when the two met at Old Trafford in October.
A loss as severe as 6-1 left some scratching their heads, as United had thrashed Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the run up to that game. Not only were Sir Alex's men brushed aside with aplomb, it was clear that City had some more in reserve to spare. Unexpected.
Was it complacency? Was it a lack of creativity? Or were United just systematically poor in a way that they shouldn't have been?
Either way, losing at home to Crystal Palace—who, with all due respect, are not even a Premier League side—is a big no-no.