The zero rating for Paul Pogba
in Madrid paper Diario AS was probably a bit harsh, but it was a sign that for those in the Spanish capital who saw this as his audition, he had failed it.
His pass inside the first minute to release Marcus Rashford
might easily have led to a shock opener, but once Lionel Messi
had taken over that was forgotten. The lasting image from his performance is more likely to have been him hacking away at Barca midfielder Arthur who got the better of him for most of the night.
Marca did not award Pogba zero, but their verdict was just as damning: 'He looked totally unrecognizable on a night when he should have shone.'
It will not have been enough to dissuade Zinedine Zidane but it could make it increasingly unlikely that, if Manchester United slap a €150million price tag on their midfielder, the Madrid club will pay it this summer.
David De Gea suffered too, and another of the winners from last night will have been Thibaut Courtois, who has done a lot this season that has not pleased club president Florentino Perez but has never let a Messi right-footed daisy cutter under his body at the Camp Nou.
As Sportsmail's Ian Ladyman put it: 'De Gea trying to hold a soft Messi shot like a child trying to contain a pet rabbit.' It looked awful, and although he later saved brilliantly from Sergio Roberto it was the Messi goal that got replayed over and over again.
Courtois not getting anywhere near the Ajax goals that knocked Real Madrid out of Europe did not go down well with Perez, and Madrid sources say he let that much be known when he waited for the players in the dressing room at the end of that game.
Yet any pipe dreams about De Gea coming in this summer with Courtois making a quick exit died a death in minute 20. It wasn't so much the error – it was the ground, the opponent and the scorer who he made the error against.
Madrid will stick with Plan A: sell Keylor Navas, make Courtois first choice for La Liga and Champions League and give either Luca Zidane or, more likely, Andriy Lunin the cup games.
Pogba will remain on the table as an option, but his price tag, his contract situation, and his failure to enamour himself to Real Madrid supporters by beating Barcelona last night shifts Christian Eriksen back to first choice.
Not everyone agreed with AS' verdict on Pogba's performance. 'He did not hide', said Mundo Deportivo's ratings. 'He took responsibility in attack and the game did not overwhelm him'.
Over the next few days Real Madrid's board will have more time to analyse his performance for themselves and debate just how inflated they believe his price might be.
On Wednesday morning they were too busy breathing huge sighs of relief that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be in the Spanish capital on June 1 to contest the Champions League final.
Selling him for €100m looked less daft that it did 24-hours earlier. Zidane advised against it. What now remains to be seen is the extent to which the manager will get his way over going all out to sign Pogba.