Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard didn't almost come to blows in Australia at all, despite the frenzied media coverage suggesting they did. Are you at all surprised?
'POGBA & LINGARD BUST-UP' was the impossible to miss headline on the back page of Tuesday's Daily Mirror newspaper. 'Lindelof makes peace after spat during walkabout'.
The coverage, which wasn't limited to the Mirror, was the result of a few seconds of video footage published on Manchester United's official Twitter account following the squad's arrival in Australia for the club's now commenced summer tour.
Those few out-of-context seconds showed Pogba and Lingard in what looked to be a somewhat animated exchange, before Victor Lindelof put his arms around the former.
It was interpreted as move by the Swede to pull Pogba away from an imminent scrap. There was literally no way for anyone watching only those few seconds to know what the situation was about, but a 'bust-up' gained traction because of the transfer saga hanging over Pogba.
Had it actually been anything serious, one might have expected Anthony Martial and Eric Bailly to at least acknowledge the alleged scuffle breaking out directly behind them. They didn't. Walking a pace or so behind Pogba, Romelu Lukaku didn't react to it either.
No issues between Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, then? 🧐 https://t.co/XgREv5BkDf— Goal (@goal) July 9, 2019
The coverage was widespread, but the repetitions of words like 'apparent', 'appeared' and 'seemingly' suggested that actually no one had any clue what was really going on.
Guesswork, and it was guesswork, produced a scandal big enough to dominate the headlines.
As it turns out, now that a fuller clip has made its way onto social media, it was nothing.
Not shown in the original footage, Lindelof pretty quickly let go of Pogba, there was no confrontation, and then a big smile emerged on Lingard's face as he broke into laughter.
Oh, the horror!