The United mantra to 'never lose two games in a row' was clinically foiled by Pardew's men leaving Ferguson to ponder what exactly is going on at Old Trafford.
United kicked off the season in blistering form by beating local rivals City in the Community Shield before notching up some high scoring victories including the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams. Their performances had pundits purring with delight and many fancied United to outlast Manchester City in the title race this season.
Then derby day arrived and United were handed a humiliating 1-6 defeat in front of their own fans by their most fiercest rivals. Ferguson admitted that this was his worst day in charge of the Red Devils and vowed that United would bounce back.
United responded in typical fashion by recording 25 points from a possible 27 points until trouble stricken Blackburn Rovers handed them their second league defeat at Old Trafford on New Years Eve, which was followed by the defeat to Newcastle.
Ferguson has insisted that his team will not panic, but there certainly is something wrong at Old Trafford this season with some claiming that these problems were evident from last season. Sir Alex will point to the extensive injury list that United are having to deal with which includes the dominant Nemanja Vidic and the promising Tom Cleverley but United have a big squad which should have enough quality to deal with such situations.
The problem is, they don't, well not to compete with City's billionaire squad anyway. This is not an attack on Manchester City, if you've got it, flaunt it. Manchester United have struggled to cope with injuries this season and the squad contains too many average players. United's defence is desperately short with Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia filling in over the last few games but it's midfield where they are desperately short of quality.
Ferguson was widely rumoured to be close to signing Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder last summer but this move broke down due to the players demands. If United are to compete with City over the coming months then this stubborn stance must make way in order to bring in genuine quality. It has once again been rumoured that Inter are willing to sell Sneijder in the current transfer window. If this is true then Ferguson, despite his reluctance to make transfers in January, must do all he can to bring the Dutchman in.
Not only should United bring in a creative player, they further need to strengthen the central midfield area. Cheick Tiote dominated the centre of the park against Carrick and an ageing Ryan Giggs at The Sports Direct Arena, a player of this mould should also be on Ferguson's radar if not now, then in the summer.
Ferguson insisted that it's not time to panic, and he is correct. United still only trail City by three points. The Scot would also do well not to overlook Tottenham Hotspur's pursuit of their first title since 1961.
Manchester United will be looking to welcome back key players from injury in the coming weeks as well as possibly recruiting one or two new players in January, but in the mean time, Sir Alex Ferguson must find a way of getting the best out of an inconsistent squad starting with the 'noisy neighbours' in the FA Cup at Eastlands on Sunday.