Vitesse Arnhem face an uphill struggle to stay in the Europa League after they were defeated 3-0 by Premier League side Southampton.

south vitThe English side managed by Dutchman Ronald Koeman, and featuring ex-Eredivisie stars Jordy Clasie, Maarten Stekelenburg, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle had already seen off Feyenoord and Groningen 3-0 during pre-season, and proved too strong for Vitesse on Thursday.

Vitesse nearly shocked their hosts after two minutes but Valeri Qazaishvili fired a good chance wide. Southampton then took control, and the pressure eventually proved too much for Vitesse’s defence as Sadio Mane set up Pelle to fire past Eloy Room on 35 minutes. It was 2-0 before the break when Mane was brought down by Rochdi Achenteh, and Tadic made no mistake from the penalty spot.

In the second half Vitesse came into the game more, and Milot Rashica passed up a good opportunity to halve the deficit, but eventually Shane Long made it 3-0 with a header, after poor play from Lewis Baker.

The second leg will be in Arnhem next week, but Vitesse need a miracle if they are to reach the next round of the competition.

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