Europa League - Qualifying Third Round - 2nd Leg
Vitesse0Southampton2

Europa League: Vitesse 0-2 Southampton (agg 0-5)

Graziano Pelle
Graziano Pelle's precise finish gave Saints the lead after just four minutes, leaving Vitesse needing to score five

Goals from Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane saw Southampton reach the Europa League play-offs with a comprehensive victory over Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.

Italian Pelle fired low into the bottom corner to put Saints into a commanding 4-0 aggregate lead after four minutes.

Vitesse struggled to create clear openings but pushed forward late on before Mane settled the night's result.

In the second half Pelle made way for Jay Rodriguez, who came on for a first competitive appearance in 16 months.

The 25-year-old forward suffered a knee ligament injury playing against Manchester City in the Premier League in April 2014.

Away from the pitch, there were violent clashes between fans before the game, with 50 Dutch supporters and three English arrested.

Southampton, competing in European competition for the first time since a first-round exit in the old Uefa Cup in 2003, are now one round from reaching the Europa League group stage. They will find out who they face in the two-legged play-off round after Friday's draw in Switzerland.

Was it just a stroll in the park?

Maarten Stekelenburg
Stekelenburg, on loan from Fulham at St Mary's this season, was comfortable in the Southampton goal

If Saints manager Ronald Koeman had any worries about his players overexerting themselves ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Newcastle then they were quickly put to rest.

With just four minutes played, James Ward-Prowse failed to control a deflected cross and the ball fell to Pelle, who took one touch to change direction and set himself before firing home on his left foot.

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Pelle's opening strike left Vitesse needing five goals to progress, and despite their superior possession they never really got close to getting one.

The pace and trickery of Valeri Kazaishvili and Milot Rashica created brief openings, but on the few occasions a shot was fired Fulham loanee Maarten Stekelenburg was comfortable in the Southampton goal.

What about the new faces?

It was the perfect environment for Rodriguez to come on. He might not be a new signing, but for all the time he has spent on the sidelines he may well feel like one to manager Ronald Koeman.

The forward arrived in the 72nd minute to reinvigorate the attack just as Southampton's concentration levels seemed to be dropping and he almost had a sensational goal to celebrate.

Vitesse goalkeeper Eloy Room's reaction seemed to suggest he always knew Rodriguez's long-range effort was sailing over, but replays showed just how close the fizzing strike came to grazing the crossbar.

Centre-back Steven Caulker was composed on his first appearance since joining on loan from Queens Park Rangers, on one occasion showing excellent awareness to deny Rashica with a block in the penalty area.

And Curacao international Cuco Martina also made his debut at right-back. The 25-year-old, signed from FC Twente, made a few awkward clearances but showed plenty of ambition to support the attack going forward.

Sadio Mane
Mane's late finish completed a comprehensive aggregate win for Soton - and secured the win on the night

'Football is not sleeping'

Southampton assistant manager Erwin Koeman: "Over the two games we deserved the victory. Tonight after Pelle's goal it was over - they needed to score five goals. That's normally impossible and it was impossible.

"Football is not sleeping, football is living every day and tomorrow we travel and we train again and before you know it, it is Sunday. You don't complain, you are happy that you play Europa League and are happy to start in the Premier League."

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle: "It was important for us to start well because with a goal it means they had to score many goals. After my goal the rest of the game was easier.

"We won today because we want to reach the group stage. We will do our best to reach it. Now we have two more games and we will make sure we'll train hard to get there."

Jay Rodriguez
Southampton striker Shane Long tweet

Line-ups

Vitesse

  • 1Room
  • 17DiksBooked at 90mins
  • 37Kashia
  • 3van der WerffSubstituted forAchentehat 72'minutes
  • 5Leerdam
  • 34BakerSubstituted forPanticat 81'minutes
  • 10Qazaishvili
  • 18Nakamba
  • 7BrownSubstituted forde Souzaat 69'minutes
  • 26Rashica
  • 11Oliynyk

Substitutes

  • 9Djurdjevic
  • 13de Souza
  • 20Pantic
  • 22Velthuizen
  • 35Achenteh
  • 41Osman
  • 49Lelieveld

Southampton

  • 22StekelenburgBooked at 75mins
  • 15MartinaBooked at 40mins
  • 6Fonte
  • 26Caulker
  • 3Yoshida
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 12Wanyama
  • 8DavisSubstituted forReedat 78'minutes
  • 11TadicSubstituted forJuanmiat 65'minutes
  • 19PellèSubstituted forRodriguezat 72'minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 1Davis
  • 2Soares
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 18Reed
  • 20Juanmi
  • 33Targett
  • 38McQueen
Referee:
Ilías Spathas

Match Stats

Home TeamVitesseAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home13
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away8

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 6th August 2015

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