And when Manchester United needed their expensive Frenchman he went missing once again.
Barcelona rocked up to Old Trafford, were in total control and did not even see fit to extend themselves to scoring but still strutted home with a 1-0 win thanks to Luke Shaw’s own goal.
The big worry for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is his team probably played as well as they can but they still did not manage to lay a glove on a strangely under-par Barca who had the attacking intent of a sea cucumber.
United had ZERO shots on target and have managed just one Marouane Fellaini goal (against Young Boys) in 425 minutes of Old Trafford Champions League football this season. It’s simply not good enough.
This was Solskjaer’s fourth defeat in five games, and the solitary victory in that sequence was a rather fortuitous one at home to Watford.
Suddenly the problems that engulfed his predecessor Jose Mourinho have returned with a vengeance. Vulnerable in defence, laboured in attack, the magic dust seems to be wearing off.
Pogba was not the only Red Devil to have a stinker – Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku were even worse, if that’s possible.
Captain Young (why, just why?) lost possession an incredible 30 TIMES on Wednesday night and is so bad at finding a team-mate that I doubt he could cross a road while stapled to the proverbial chicken.
And I thought it was a bit rich that Lukaku got to watch the game for free when regular punters had to stump up for the privilege. The Belgian was totally anonymous – having the fewest touches (19) of any outfield player – and was hauled off after 68 minutes to big cheers.
United were the only side not to score in the home match of this season’s semi-final first legs. As it stands they will have to find the net in the Nou Camp next week and the glimmer of hope their fans will hold onto is their away form in Europe this campaign, including wins over Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
Luis Suarez and Leo Messi combined to force the own goal and in the next game if United are to have any chance someone needs to mark the Argentinian maestro tighter than a frog’s bum – and that’s waterproof!
Logic suggests they will not be so poor in familiar surroundings so United fans need to be realistic. But common sense is so rare these days it should be considered a super power.
TOTTENHAM are getting carrier-bagged away with their new home – yes it’s nice but drop ONE BILLION POUNDS on anything and that is the very least you would expect.
Spurs followed up their first Premier League win in the ground with their first Champions League one by edging past Manchester City 1-0.
But it’s embarrassing that Daniel Levy provided plastic bags to make a mosaic in an attempt to create atmosphere. Contrast that to Anfield where fans bring their own home-made banners and scarves and belt out their famous anthem at the top of their voices.
You can’t fake passion and Spurs chiefs would be wise to let supporters figure out what they want to do organically.
On the pitch one man is doing more to give those fans something to think about – Son Heung-min. Forget the Special One, this is the era of the Special Son. The South Korean should make everyone’s Team of the Year. He is a joy to watch, plays with a smile on his face and seems to be related to the Duracell bunny.
But it was not all positives for Mauricio Pochetinno as he saw star striker Harry Kane limp out with what is feared to be a season-ending ankle injury. His absence for the second leg – and the top-four battle – has left Totttenham supporters sweating like dyslexics on Countdown.
NABY KEITA is timing his transformation from average to avenger perfectly for Liverpool.
Some fear the fire, others simply become it, and the Guinean has certainly not shrunk from the heavy weight of expectation of being a player boss Jurgen Klopp waited a year for.
After 27 appearances for the Reds he had scored no goals, after 29 he has two, coming just four days apart. And both were massive strikes – the first in a Herculean Premier League battle away at rejuvenated Southampton and the other in a 2-0 European victory over Porto.
In the other semi-final Ajax came from behind to draw 1-1 with Juventus.
Unfortunately this exciting young Dutch side – conquerors of champions Real Madrid in the last round – is bound to be dismantled in the summer with scorer David Neres, 22, linked to Liverpool, 19-year-old skipper Matthijs de Ligt wanted by every big club and Frenkie de Jong, 21, already sealing a £65million switch to Barcelona.
There was only going to be one man who got the Juve opener. It was exactly 12 years to the day since Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal – and in Amsterdam he headed in his 125th.
He is unquestionably a great player but the Portuguese is so far up his own a*** he needs a glass belly button to see out.
AND finally religious nut Isreal Folau looks set to be sacked by Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby Union after posting more homophobic, anti-atheist straight-laced views on social media.
The 73-cap full-back, 30, has been warned before and while he has a right to his opinion what he must get his head around is millions of people abhor his way of thinking and don’t want to be preached at.
Honestly I think he doth protest too much. And going to church doesn’t make you a good Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.