In one of the most bizarre games of football the Premier League is ever likely to see, Manchester United ran out 4-3 winners over Reading Saturday to extend their lead at the summit of the table.
The Madejski Stadium was treated to a seven-goal 25-minute spell in the first half, but after Robin van Persie had scored his team's fourth, the net then remained mysteriously unruffled.
Goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Adam le Fondre and Sean Morrison gave the Red Devils nervous moments, but an Anderson cracker, two Wayne Rooney strikes, followed by van Persie's winner gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side all three points.
Here are six things we learned from the topsy-turvy clash.
It seems the midweek clean sheet against West Ham was a false dawn.
Manchester United were absolutely terrible at the back at the Madejski Stadium, with the blame being shared amongst all four starters.
It was Patrice Evra failing to stick close to Robson-Kanu for Reading's first, it was not a single red shirt picking up Adam le Fondre for the home side's second and it was Jonny Evans getting manhandled in the air for the third.
Things absolutely must improve defensively in the coming weeks or United fans are going to be in for rougher times than today.
A little more time spent practising the art on the training ground, please.
Given a spot in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, Anderson played a blinder for most of the first half, giving the Reading defence nightmares with his powerful attacking runs and deft passing.
Which made his departure moments before halftime all the more tragic.
The Brazilian midfielder has not had the best of luck injury-wise at Old Trafford. He has often seemed on the precipice of breaking into the first team before going down hurt for long spells.
Fans will be praying that the issue is not a serious one—he has recently been a real cure for United's earlier midfield woes.
Anders Lindegaard and David de Gea have had a complete role reversal in recent weeks.
In the past, it was thought that the Dane was the reliable, if less spectacular keeper, while the Spaniard was the promising but erratic option between the sticks.
Not so based on the former's uncertain display Saturday.
Lindegaard flapped at several crosses, fumbled a couple of easy shots and was perhaps at fault for not coming out to claim either of Reading's goals from set pieces.
On the bench for the game, David de Gea's wisdom tooth cannot heal fast enough.
Wayne Rooney has been the subject of some very harsh, undeserved criticism of late.
Sure, he hasn't scored as many goals as he has in recent seasons, but with Robin van Persie coming to Old Trafford to fulfill that requirement, he hasn't had to.
Rooney's impact in a deeper-lying playmaker role has been as understated as it has been immeasurable.
Against Reading, he dictated the attacking traffic, displaying the type of passing and movement that only the very best in the position can hope to emulate.
Oh, and he scored a couple of goals Saturday, too.
As his side's only fit traditional winger, Ashley Young has been given valuable minutes for United in recent weeks, but has not looked particularly impressive.
Against Reading, he started brightly, setting up Anderson for United's first and getting involved with some neat passing. But as the game wore on, his impact and influence on proceedings severely diminished.
Too often, he is unable to beat his man one-on-one, and when he does find the room to shoot, fans in row Z are more likely to get hit than the back of the net.
Antonio Valencia and Nani as well—United's two currently injured wide men—both looked poor and out of touch before going down hurt earlier in the season.
On the flip side of the coin, full-backs Rafael, Chris Smalling and Patrice Evra struggled to deal with the tricky Hal Robson-Kanu and Jobi McAnuff for most of the game.
Pacy, skillful wingers seem to have a great deal of success against the Red Devils—a worrying trend.
There are two ways of looking at Manchester United's current slow-to-start, quick-to-finish syndrome.
One—that the side has been displaying a worrying tendency to come out of the blocks slow and complacent. Or two—that their barnstorming comeback ability is an admirable trait of a title-winning team.
Both arguments are correct—there are dramatic positives and negatives to be taken from this season's form.
Just one comeback wasn't enough Saturday, as Sir Alex's side twice reversed deficits.
But with the Manchester derby looming, this team can simply not afford to fall behind to a Roberto Mancini-coached team well-versed in the art of defending a lead.
What did you make of Manchester United's win over Reading? Do you prefer to take the positives or the negatives from such a performance?