William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi were eliminated from the Europa League on Thursday after a crucial defeat to Galatasaray.

William Saliba via Marseille
William Saliba via Marseille

Arsenal loanees William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi have had a fair amount of success with their new side in Ligue 1 this season, leading a push for the Champions League places.

The main obstacle to their domestic form lately has been that their matches keep being abandoned.

It’s a different story in the Europa League, where Marseille went into Thursday’s fifth matchday of the group stage without a win to their name.

On the upside, they also hadn’t lost, drawing all four of their opening four matches.

As a result, they knew a win away to Galatasaray would put them right in the mix for the knockout rounds, whilst a defeat would likely send them out – depending on whether Lazio beat Lokomotiv Moscow, which they did.

The Marseille match didn’t start well, with Galatasaray racing into a 2-0 first-half lead. Things only got worse after the break, when Saliba was arguably at fault for Galatasaray’s third goal.

Though Marseille tried to mount a comeback after that, scoring twice in the last half-hour, they also conceded another to lose 4-2.

Friday’s L’Equipe wasn’t complimentary of Saliba, suggesting his lapses in concentration have cost Marseille in their European matches lately. Though they did mention that the player had set a high standard for himself with his strong early performances.

William Saliba via Marseille
William Saliba via Marseille

Marseille are now four points off second-place Lazio with one game to go. They could even fall into fourth with a defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow in the final game.

As long as they at least draw with Lokomotiv, Marseille will finish third and drop into the Europa Conference League knockout rounds.