Manchester United destroyed by own defence: Neil Humphreys
Bumbling backline more likely to get Solskjaer sacked than Pogba and Raiola
Paul Pogba is a one-man pantomime. His agent is Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. Together, they are daft distractions from the real problem at Manchester United.
Defensively, the Red Devils are an incontestable mess.
Retired legend and professional grump Paul Scholes has suggested that skipper Harry Maguire should discipline Pogba for his errant behaviour.
On the contrary, the error-prone defender might consider buying the Frenchman a turkey for Christmas for keeping the donkeys off the back pages.
Maguire and his muddled men will get their manager sacked long before Pogba has a chance to twist the knife.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent out a back five to pinch a point against RB Leipzig yesterday morning (Singapore time). The Backstreet Boys were probably a more viable and less expensive option.
Rough calculations indicate that Alex Telles, Luke Shaw, Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka cost a combined fee of just over £205 million (S$366.7m) and still participated in a novel game of shadow football.
It's like shadow boxing, in the sense that participants pretend that opponents are invisible, only in this case, the Red Devils actually got knocked out. Maguire's decline continues to plagiarise a Shakespearean tragedy as he reluctantly turns into a surreal tribute act of himself.
Whereas the former Maguire once cleared crosses and missed nothing, the current incarnation misses crosses and clears nothing. He bemoaned his side's inability to be "at it" from kick-off, despite going AWOL himself.
Wan-Bissaka, on the other hand, was recently challenged to address the lopsided nature of his game - that is he was struggling to get forward. Now he's restored the balance by struggling to get forward or back.
Watching Leipzig's lively Angelino, a loanee from Manchester City no less, actively target the naive Wan-Bissaka provided a concise summary of United's contradictions.
At times this season, they flattered to deceive. But in elite contests, they seldom flatter or deceive in defensive positions.
Solskjaer and Maguire can feign shock in interviews, but their premature Champions League exit hardly comes as a surprise to anyone paying attention.
United's defensive shortcomings - coupled with Solskjaer's almost parodic inability to fashion any sort of template or discernible style of play after two years in charge - has seen an unwanted pattern emerge.
The Red Devils have conceded the first goal in seven of their 10 English Premier League contests. In Europe, they fell behind in three of their six games.
Across 18 games this season, United conceded nine times in the opening 13 minutes, the kind of statistic typically associated with relegation battlers.
In several instances, there were enthralling comebacks and lazy platitudes about "character". But United's recoveries owed more to their undoubted attacking pedigree than anything Solskjaer or his skittish defenders might have done.
The Red Devils have managed just five clean sheets in 18 games - and two were in the League Cup - as the club's appalling record in the transfer market continues to handicap their performances.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, United have lavished the best part of £375m on defenders in the intervening years. How many were unqualified successes? Were any?
The back five on display in Leipzig hardly covered themselves in glory and Solskjaer isn't overburdened with suitable replacements.
A rusty Shaw lacked pace. The wing-backs frequently lost their markers. Lindelof's positioning was poor and they all developed a schoolboy-like aversion to crosses.
Eric Bailly, arguably the most assured defensive footballer at the club, is injury-prone and currently unavailable.
In stark contrast, Liverpool can prevail with a makeshift back four comprising kids and utility men. United cannot collect a solitary point in Europe with an almost first-choice back five and eight defensive-minded players on the pitch.
Solskjaer seems no closer to a defensive solution today than when he succeeded Jose Mourinho two years ago. The disquiet persists.
And while the Pogba soap opera titillates, the real culprits slip away from the scene of their latest crime.
Whatever happens to the Frenchman in the coming weeks, he really can't do as much long-term damage as United's shambolic defence.