Just when Manchester United are meant to enter that invincible phase, in which they gather momentum and put a run of victories together, they have stumbled, perhaps over a rock that could have been avoided, or at least steam roller-ed over.
A line up with a long absentee and perhaps a soon to be retiree in the full back positions, suggested that United had once more gone for the safety first option of Neville and O'Shea when the marauding Rafael and Fabio surely would have given the team more zip. Evra is understandably tired.
Further forward, despite going four four two, Sir Alex opted for a central pairing of Giggs and Scholes when Fletcher and Gibson, by the first half against Bayern, would possibly have given United the energy, youth, and the latter, a bigger goal scoring threat.
Indeed raw he maybe, but like Macheda, who was rightly selected, Gibson shoots, and shoots well. Meanwhile, next to Kiko, Berbatov continued to toil, almost hunched over by the hefty price tag weighing heavily around his neck.
Why United went with the veterans when the youth players appear to be chomping at the bit is a myth. If there was one thing that the Bayern defeat most certainly proved, it was that the youngsters can match the rest of the desire, while bringing added zest.
United have replaced last year's Ronaldo with Rooney this year, but who has replaced last year's Rooney...?