So Southampton are all but there, but West Ham have it all to do.
The return legs are on 6 August.
See you there.
So Southampton are all but there, but West Ham have it all to do.
The return legs are on 6 August.
See you there.
Tonight's victory was Southampton's first European win for 34 years - since beating Limerick in September 1981.
Vitesse boss Peter Bosz is asked if Southampton's 3-0 win kills the tie.
"Yeah," he replies."The 3-0 defeat was unnecessary," he adds. "Today the details were not in our favour."
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "There is a big difference between 2-0 up and 3-0 up and tonight is a great result in European football. We were playing too much back in the second half and there was too much controlling of the game without the movement that we had earlier.
"We did a good job today and that makes things a little easier inthe next game.
"We try to have a good squad in terms of quality as well as numbers. Ideally we would have two more players to have a perfect squad for this season.
"Expectation will be big for us, but we are realistic people at the club and it will be difficult for us to match what we did last season, But we believe we can and we have the players to do that."
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: We definitely played well in the first hour, but the game lasts 90 minutes and we had to react better to going down to ten men."
"We played well until the moment we had a player sent-off. We were dominating the game."
"They scored one great goal and an own-goal, but it was a different game after they scored the first one."
Jose Fonte speaking to BT Sport: "We have come a long way from League One but since 2010 we have been on an amazing journey and today was one of the proudest moments of my career leading the team out in Europe.
"Nothing is decided. You have to approach the game professionally and we will go there to try and win.
"This is a competiton we take very seriously and this is a chance for us do well, We are an ambitious group. There will probably be new arrivals. This is a great club with great staff, great players and great fans so it is easy to adapt and fit in."
Borussia Dortmund - Champions League runners-up just two years ago - have taken a 1-0 victory from Austrian side Wolfsberg.
But Sampdoria have suffered a 4-0 humbling at home to Serbian side FK Vojvodina.
A very satisfactory night's work and the 30,000 plus in attendance, apart perhaps from the 1,500 Dutch fans, enjoyed it. Actually they seem to have had quite a good time as well and are cheering their players as they cross the pitch to applaud the travelling contingent.
Kevin Diks makes way for Julian Lelieveld.
Into injury-time now...a good night's work almost done.
It appears that West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands at the tail-end of the Hammers' draw.
Things were getting very fraught down at pitchside and the Croat was not shy in letting the referee and opposition know what he thought.
Good night Vitesse.
That should be Southampton into the play-off round already.
Lewis Baker's sloppy cross-field pass is seized upon by Shane Long, who races in on goal.
Goalkeeper Eloy Room is off his line well to partially block at the Irishman's feet, but the ball runs to Juanmi on the right. He shows excellent composure to stand up a cross for Long to nod in at the far post as the Vitesse defence chases back in vain.
"The Vitesse fans are really going for it in the away end at St Mary's.
"Watching them bounce up and down and wave their flags, you wouldn't think they're 2-0 behind away from home.
"They've gone through a full repertoire of songs and are doing everything in their power to encourage their side to grab a precious away goal on the night."
Should do better.
The old school-report catch-all applies as Milot Rashida fails to get over the top of a half-volley 15 yards out.
His effort was rising over the bar and a little deflection off Kevin Diks made it look even worse.
That clear chance for Danilo Pantic apart, Southampton are slowly throttling the life out of Vitesse on the south coast.
Just over 10 minutes to go.
The final whistle is followed by boos from the home crowd and the public address system hastily pumps out some Prodigy to drown out the dissent. Which is mainly aimed at the referee to be fair.
A late free-kick for Astra, Adrian flaps at it in the West Ham goal, hearts in mouths, but West Ham have been given a free-kick.
Three minutes added on at Upton Park.
Modibo Maiga goes down under a challenge. Nothing really in it, and Dimitri Payet earns a yellow card for arguing his case too forcefully.
A big chance for Chelsea loanee Danilo Pantic, but the Vitesse man fires too close to the giant frame of Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Southampton goalkeeper got down well there.
Fernando Boldrin is replaced by Alexandru Dandea for the final five minutes of normal time.
The Hammers could do with something sharpish.
The third on-loan Chelsea player joins the Vitesse party.
Danilo Pantic replaces Valeri Kazaishvili.
"A much more relaxed and composed Southampton in this second half.
"Vitesse not really able to find as much time on the ball.
"Double change from Ronald Koeman just after the hour mark as another debutant, Spanish striker Juanmi replaces Jordy Clasie.
"Not the greatest first showing from the Dutch midfielder. Gave away possession a couple of times cheaply but it looks as if his debut has been ended early by picking up a knock."
West Ham are pressing forward.
Dimitri Payet to take a corner to a soundtrack of encouraging roars.
But Astra see off the danger.
Another strike at goal from Pelle - and it is on target too but the shot lacks power and is comfortably saved.
Stunned silence at Upton Park.
The home side have dominated for the most part, but their foot has come off the pedal in the last 10 minutes and they have paid the price.
Angelo Ogbonna attempts to cut out a cross and the ball ricochets up off his shin and over a stranded Adrian.
A double change for Southampton. On comes Juanmi for Jordy Clasie and Shane Long replaces Dusan Tadic.
Just under 30 minutes to go.
The match between FK Kukesi and Legia Warsaw has been abandoned after 51 minutes. The reason? Apparently Legia's Duda was struck by a stone thrown from the stands.
Changes for both teams.
West Ham sacrifice goalscorer Mauro Zarate for Matt Jarvis.
Astra bring off Williams de Amorim and introduce Constantin Florea.
Thirteen minutes left and suddenly it is West Ham on the defensive.
A little confidence is a dangerous thing for Graziano Pelle.
The ball bounces back to the Italian, 15 yards from the Vitesse goal, and he has time and space to pick a spot.
Instead he goes for full power and whacks his shot over the top of the bar.
Quote Message: That was a wonder strike by Fernando Boldrin. It's game on. There's a renewed belief about Astra and Slaven Bilic looks really disappointed." from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR forward on BBC London 94.9
An absolute brute of a shot from Fernando Bolderin. It thunders past Adrian and cracks down off the underside of the crossbar for extra style points.
Astra are back in the tie. As it stands a 1-0 win in the second leg would send them through.
Astra captain Constantin Budescu has been on a one-man mission to drag his side back into this match. He has been shooting on sight. And sometimes when he has no view at all.
It has been a lot less firey down on the south coast.
But Southampton's Steven Davis has his name taken for tugging the shirt of Kevin Diks.
Tweet #bbcfootball or text 81111 (UK only).
But think about how good he will be in front of an FA appeals panel with his law degree.
And we are back up and running at St Mary's.
Graziano Pelle was channeling the spirit of fellow Italian Marco Tardelli after his opener.
Quote Message: James Collins got a round of applause as he walked off but I don't think the referee was left with any choice. He was already on a yellow. He should just have used his experience." from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR forward on BBC London 94.9
West Ham have had players sent off in both the previous two qualifying rounds. And James Collins makes it three in a row as he bundles into Budescu to earn a second yellow.
Reece Oxford will drop back from midfield to help out the defence.
Twelve minutes into the second half is a little late for a reducer, but Constantin Budescu has just cleaned out Dimitri Payet in no uncertain manner.
An obvious yellow.
Quote Message: That was twinkle toes Zarate. He showed real endeavour, skipped past a few challenges and when he got to the penalty spot he drove the ball home." from Bradley Allen Former QPR and Charlton forward on BBC London 94.9
Lovely dainty footwork from Mauro Zarate.
The South American jinks and feints past a couple of defenders and slots home confidently.
Is he staking a claim to be the man who steps in for the injured Enner Valencia in the medium term?
The Saints faithful can enjoy their half-time cup of tea.
Not a sliver of doubt.
Dusan Tadic steps up and hammers hard and low to the goalkeeper's right.
Eloy Room had already headed off to the opposite corner. He would not have got there even if he had guessed correctly.
Sadio Mane has been as slippery as an eel and Rochdi Achenteh has blundered in clumsily in an attempt to get a grip on him.
His barge gives Saints a chance from 12 yards.
No changes for either side at half-time.
West Ham have already lost Joey O'Brien and Enner Valencia to injury in the first half remember.
"Then like my dream they fade and die."
I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles is done and the second half can begin.
Sure hope Bradley has the answer...
"What a time for Southampton to get their noses in front in this one.
"There was a definite sense of Southampton taking the longer to settle.
"Vitesse have looked confident and calm on the ball, while the hosts have been guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on occasions.
"But great combination between Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane to open up the Dutch defence and an emphatic finish from the Italy international."
Oh, this is good. Really nice.
Slick passing from Cedric Soares and Dusan Tadic links to Sadio Mane deep in the Vitesse half. His strike partner Graziano Pelle is already on the move.
A diagonal dart, a perfectly weighted pass and Pelle lashes home a rocket of a finish.
Southampton are starting to get the upper hand on Vitesse, but they are struggling to unlock the deep-lying visitors.
Steven Davis cuts in off the left and has a crack from the edge of the box. It comes off his laces sweetly enough, but is straight into the gloves of Eloy Room.
Plenty of press-box love for right-back Cedric Soares
Quote Message: For all West Ham's dominance they haven't created a stack of chances. The hope is Astra tire in the second half and West Ham double or treble their lead. Astra are hanging on." from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR striker on BBC London 94.9
So far so good for the Hammers, apart from the injuries....
Mauro Zarate with a curling effort that is zeroing in on the top corner, but that is a splendid stop from the sprawling Silvio Lung.
Astra hanging on for dear life.
West Ham are finishing the half on top with a succession of corners - Zarate wallops a shot wide from the latest Dimitri Payet delivery.
Should be! Isn't.
Victor Wanyama has time to line up his left-foot shot as the ball falls into his path from Maya Yoshida's knock-down, but never looks comfortable.
His punt from 15 yards out is palmed away by Eloy Room in goal. The ball rebounds towards Yoshida but it comes to nothing.
Nice work from Southampton with Matt Targett's outside of the foot pass picking out Sadio Mane, but the striker's square pass to the unmarked Graziano Pelle is cut out by a covering defender.
Quote Message: It looks like a left hamstring for Joey O'Brien. It's a shame that's the end of Enner Valencia's night. West Ham aren't blessed with lots of strikers and it might be something they look at before the start of the season. from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR forward on BBC London 94.9
Anyone fancy Southampton v Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final next May?
Former Saints striker Matt Le Tissier certainly does.
And there is more bad news on the injury front for the Hammers.
Goalscorer Enner Valencia has suffered a leg injury and has to be stretchered off. That is nasty and he is taken straight down the tunnel for further treatment.
Modibo Maiga is off the bench to fill the striker's role.
A change for West Ham as Joey O'Brien is hooked and Reece Burke is shoved on in his place.
Might have been a muscle tweak.
A decent chance for Saints as Steven Davis''s corner is drilled into the near post with no-one taking charge in the Vitesse defence. A stooping Maya Yoshida meets it, but does not connect cleanly with his header. It is straight at Eloy Room in goal and he snaffles with ease.
"Great atmosphere around St Mary's in the early exchanges of this one.
"A sell-out crowd are creating quite a buzz, while the setting sun opposite is creating quite a hindrance for the assembled press.
"Didn't think I'd be pulling my shades out of my bag for this one to read the teamsheets.
"Vitesse have started confidently with Djurdevic and Kazaishvili combining well up front for the visitors."
You're preaching to the converted Christopher. Less impressive than he was at Fulham was all I was saying. And I reckon that's about right.
Never has a man looked more disgusted by the Hammers' pre-match bubbles.
It's all part of the job Slaven.
Quote Message: Dimitri Payet has a touch of Carlos Tevez about him. He's small and muscular and it was his cross that allowed Enner Valencia to power a downward header into the net. It's been coming." from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR forward on BBC London 94.9
Saints have a penalty shout, but they never get to find out if the referee agrees that Dusan Tadic was fouled as he tried to get onto Matt Targett's pass.
The offside flag was up already.
Oh - so close for the away side. A poor headed clearance from Maya Yoshida is almost punished by Valeri Kazaishvili but his low strike across goal is inches wide.
All about Dimitri Payet this one.
The little Frenchman does his marker like a kipper and sweeps in a delicious cross with Enner Valencia just needs to apply his forehead to.
Quote Message: I think Slaven Bilic will want a bit more detail on the passing. If they can find that then it won't be long before they take the lead." from Bradley Allen Former Charlton and QPR forward on BBC London 94.9
Just over 20 minutes gone so far....
We are under way at St Mary's.
West Ham have been busy, hustling and harrying when they lose the ball and making plenty of runs off it.
But it has not quite clicked yet for the hosts...
Time for high fives and handshakes all round at St Mary's.
All very friendly as Ronald Koeman presses the flesh with the opposition bench.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, whose first managerial job was with Vitesse, started the trash talk yesterday.
The Dutchman believes that Chelsea's close relationship with Vitesse - who are owned by Blues' owner Roman Abramovich's close friend Alexander Chigirinsky - is damaging the club.
Chelsea regularly loan youngsters and fringe squad members to Vitesse as part of a partner club arrangement
"In my time, we played in front of 25,000 to 26,000 people every home game and now if they play against Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord, there is 20,000 or 22,000 maximum," said Koeman.
"Maybe the people lost a little bit of the connection, the feeling with the club, because it is not really like before."
He may have been sacked as Southampton boss and replaced by Mauricio Pochettino in January 2013.
But Nigel Adkins, now manager at Sheffield United, clearly has lost none of his affection for the club.
Around 1,500 Vitesse fans have travelled to Southampton from the Dutch city of Arnhem.
That's pretty impressive for a Europa League qualifier. However, just how many have invested in a half and half scarf is unclear.
A first West Ham corner is greeted with encouraging cheers from the home fans.
Up roll the big guns from the back as James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna stride forward into the box.
And Dimitri Payet fails to beat the first defender at the near post.
The first little bit of danger at the West Ham end as William De Amorim's pass almost finds Constatin Budescu in a dangerous position.
Quote Message: We had a great season last year and we have a great occasion tonight - playing in Europe. It is very enjoyable for everybody and we are looking forward to it. We are not used to playing every season in Europe but we want to reach the group stage and that starts tonight. from Ronald Koeman Southampton manager
Southampton's last venture into Europe was in September 2003 when Gordon Strachan led them into the then-Uefa Cup on the back of finishing as FA Cup runners-up behind Arsenal the previous May.
They lost in the first round, going down 2-1 on aggregate to Steaua Bucureșt.
Since then they have taken in a circuitous route back to continental competition. Just over four years ago they were in League One.
Southampton are back in Europe for the first time in 12 seasons and one former long-serving Saints defender is truly excited.
Quote Message: I'm looking forward to seeing Dimitri Payet's contribution. He appears to have been given a free role. This boy can play, he can link it, dribble and score goals." from Bradley Allen Former QPR and Charlton forward on BBC London 94.9
Rod Wallace did a fair bit of damage at Southampton before moving north to Elland Road as well,
West Ham are seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages. Enner Valencia had an opening to run at but the Astra defenders rushed across to shut the door.
Quote Message: You just hope the West Ham players go out and play with a positive intent and get the job done, get a good few goals up before they go to Romania next week." from Bradley Allen Former QPR and Charlton forward on BBC London 94.9
We are up and running. West Ham have set up with a diamond in midfield with young Reece Oxford at the defensive base.
The teams are out at Upton Park. This is what we are looking at ...
West Ham: Adrian, Cresswell, Kouyate, Zarate, Noble (c), O'Brien, Collins, Ogbonna, Payet, Valencia, Oxford. Subs: Spiegel, Nolan, Jarvis, Maiga, Poyet, Burke, Samuelsen.
Astra: Lung, Alves, Seto, Enache, Budescu, Morais, Boldrin, Gaman, Teixeira, Quieros, De Amorim. Subs: Gavrilas, Florea, Oros, Lovin, Dandea, Alves, Stan.
We can't all be on holiday like Anthony.
Luckily BBC London 94.9 have live commentary of events at Upton Park.
And you can too. Just hit the live coverage tab on this page and get Bradley Allen's wise words to accompany your evening.
Dimitri Payet might be a name being pondered by a fair few Fantasy Football managers at this time of year.
West Ham splashed £10.7m on the French attacking midfielder and he might be worth a chunk of your make-believe kitty.
He has scored a total of 46 goals in 182 appearances playing for St Etienne, Lille and Marseille in Ligue 1.
And he nabbed one for the Hammers in pre-season against Southend.
Luke Hansford: Southampton have been fantastic to watch, good luck to them.
Christopher Dodd: Great to see a club using youth to drive forward with good buys.
Leroy Mauris: Southampton v Chelsea's feeder club.
West Ham owner David Sullivan is on the scene and getting down with the kids
I'm thinking even less celebrated guys.
Peterborough-born forward Isaiah Brown, 18, starts for Vitesse as does another loan signing from Chelsea, midfielder Lewis Baker, 20.
Another Chelsea loan signing, 18-year-old midfielder Danilo Pantic, is on the substitutes bench.
And so the wait goes on....
Jay Rodriguez's last match at St Mary's was way back in March 2014 when he scored twice in a 4-0 win against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
He suffered knee ligament damage in a 4-1 defeat by Manchester City the following month, and has not appeared since.
The 26-year-old says that he is physically quicker and mentally stronger for his year away from the game.
He has looked it in pre-season, netting twice in the friendly with RB Leipzig and bagging a hat-trick against KVV Quick ’20.
"Vitesse have brought 1,500 supporters with them from the Netherlands for tonight's first leg.
"Many made the trip early and have been 'soaking' up the atmosphere in the city centre for most of the afternoon.
"I spotted one dressed as Big Bird from Sesame Street at lunchtime in the familiar black and yellow stripes of Vitesse."
"So, it's Southampton debuts for Maarten Stekelenburg in goal, Cedric Soares at right-back and Jordy Clasie in midfield.
"Looking like a 4-3-3 with Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic playing either side of Graziano Pelle in the midfield up front.
"No return just yet for Jay Rodriguez who has looked sharp in pre-season following his long-term injury.
"Vitesse include Chelsea loanees Isaiah Brown and Lewis Baker in their line-up."
Chelsea quartet Izzy Brown, Lewis Baker, Nathan and Danilo Pantic are the currently on loan at Vitesse.
Brown scored on debut in a friendly against Asteras Tripolis last week.
And it looks like there will be plenty in a corner of south-west London supporting the Dutch.
Brown and Baker start with Pantic on the bench...
"It may still be July and there's a sun-kissed south coast evening in Southampton tonight, but there's a sense of excitement around the city for the return of football.
"Southampton are ready for their first European action in 12 years and manager Ronald Koeman is buoyant in his programme notes.
"'It's important to everyone's ambitions that we are exposed to this level as much as possible,' he said.
"Tonight's opponents have added significance for the Dutchman as it was Vitesse who gave him his first job as a manager."
Southampton: Stekelenburg, Cedric, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett, Wanyama, Clasie, Davis, Tadic, Mane, Pelle. Subs: Gazzaniga, Long, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Reed, Juanmi, McCarthy.
Vitesse: Room, Diks, Kashia, Leerdam, Achenteh, Baker, Nakamba, Vako, Brown, Djurdjevic, Oliinyk. Subs: Velthuizen, Vd Werff, Lelieveld, Osman, Pantic, Rashica, Dauda.
The rest of the Saints line-up is just moments away from being revealed...
Steed Malbranque? That takes me back. Always a pleasure and never a chore to watch the showboating Belgian.
He scored a very tidy 32 goals in 168 Premier League appearances for Fulham, before admittedly less impressive spells with Tottenham and Sunderland.
So, as we focus on European football's second stage tonight, we are after the less-celebrated players who you have a soft spot for.
Perhaps you are a believer in George Boyd? Or dream of the days of Paulo Wanchope?
My nomination? Remember Ze Roberto, who played at left-back for Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich? Loved that guy.
Not just a mouthful of vowels, Astra Giurgiu have some Europa League pedigree as well.
Last season they knocked out French side Lyon on away goals in the qualifying play-off.
It was a Lyon side containing not only current hip young gunslinger Alexandre Lacazette, but also old stager Steed Malbranque.
Astra went on to finish bottom of their group, but held Celtic to a draw at home.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic makes four changes to the side that started the last Europa League qualifier last week.
In come defender Angelo Ogbonna, midfielder Dimitri Payet, forward Enner Valencia and 16-year-old defender Reece Oxford. Making way are James Tomkins, Matt Jarvis, Kevin Nolan and Morgan Amalfitano.
West Ham XI : Adrian, Cresswell, Kouyate, Zarate, Noble (c), O'Brien, Collins, Ogbonna, Payet, Valencia, Oxford.
Astra Giurgiu XI: Lung, Alves, Seto, Enache, Budescu, Morais, Boldrin, Gaman, Teixeira, Quieros, De Amorim.
The early rounds of the Europa League are basically glorified pre-season kickabouts right?
Wrong. Try judo throws, red cards, penalty shoot-outs and general scenes of aggro.
That is what West Ham went through as they scraped past Maltese minnows Birkirkara - the 360th best side in Europa according to Uefa's coefficients - in the last round.
Don't discount some feistiness.
West Ham's Twitter bod asked for thoughts. And the Hammers' faithful duly provided them.
"Sexy" and a love-struck emoji face are among the reactions.
New midfield signing Dimitri Payet makes his first competitive start for West Ham, one of four changes to the side that lost 1-0 against Birkirkara in Malta last week.
West Ham XI: Adrian, Cresswell, Kouyate, Zarate, Noble, O'Brien, Collins, Ogbonna, Payet, Valencia, Oxford
So this is the third round of qualifying...
To get into a play-off...
To get in to the group stages...
After which there are four knock-out rounds...
To reach the final.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. Tonight it is all about:
West Ham v Astra Giurgiu (19:45 BST)
Southampton v Vitesse Arnhem (20:05 BST)
A minimum of 27 hours of football against nine different opponents. Over a little less than 10 months.
West Ham and Southampton are on the long, long road to St Jakob Park in Basel and the Europa League final on 18 May.