Well. That was embarrassing.
After many pundits, myself included, predicted a tight match to take place between the two league leaders, Manchester City put United to the torch and lambasted them to the tune of 6 goals to 1. Adding insult to injury was young red-carded Jonny Evans showing, once again, that his place in the first team's defense is tenuous at best.
To be fair to the Irishman, not many of United's vaunted superstars really showed up to play. Rio Ferdinand was shambolic despite being relied so heavily upon in place of the (mysteriously) absent Nemanja Vidic. David De Gea, so solid in recent games, looked shell-shocked. Anderson left his midfield partner Darren Fletcher hanging high and dry on a number of occasions.
And even Wayne Rooney, who honestly looked like the only United player who wanted to win, was ineffective.
But perhaps, as a number of other writers on Bleacher Report have indicated, this is a blessing in disguise for both the club and fans.
The early season success created an atmosphere of invincibility around the "aura" of Manchester United. In doing so, several holes were masked just waiting for a top side to expose them. And with all due respect to Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, City was the only team in the Premier League who could have driven the point home.
With the possibility of facing Barcelona down the line, still leagues ahead of City at this point, Sir Alex must now sit down and assess his squad with their deficiencies brought into so much focus.
With that in mind, here are 10 players Sir Alex must bring in. Note, I'm not advocating bringing in all of them at once. By playing around with his system and personnel, only a couple of these reinforcements would be necessary. I'm just going to illustrate possibilities based on what he could do.
Also, United needs help now. So even though the team is linked to a number of youngsters with potential, I'm limiting this list to players who can make an impact right away.
I am also trying to keep it somewhat realistic, mileage may vary, so no 100,000,000 bids for the likes of Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, and no return engagements for Gerard Pique and Giuseppe Rossi.