Vitesse Arnhem started their Europa League campaign with a 3-2 defeat at home to Lazio.

The first ever Europa League group stage match at the GelreDome saw a near full strength Vitesse take on a Lazio side that gave a run out to some of their reserves but kept Stefan De Vrij in the line-up.

Both sides traded early chances with Bryan Linssen going close for Vitesse before a defensive error by Guram Kashia presented Felipe Caicedo a great opportunity which he put wide. De Vrij and Caicedo then headed good chances wide as Lazio began to take control of the game.

However, around the half hour mark, Vitesse took the lead with Milot Rashica playing an excellent cross to the back post for Tim Matavz to slot in his fifth goal in five games for the club.

Simone Inzaghi brought on Ciro Immobile at the break and the striker came close to the equaliser almost immediately, but Remko Pasveer kept out his effort. A few minutes later, Maikel van der Werff’s horrible clearance landed at Marco Parolo’s feet and he hammered a strike past Pasveer to make it 1-1.

Vitesse rallied after the equaliser and regained their lead through Linssen who finished off another Rashica cross to make it 2-1. Matavz and Bruns then missed two excellent chances to make it 3-1 and Vitesse were eventually punished.

In the 67th minute, Immobile equalised after a corner and soon after Alessandro Murgia benefited from another poor piece of defending by van der Werff to make it 3-2. Before the end, Vitesse should have equalised but Luc Castaignos headed over the bar from a few yards out and Lazio eventually held on for the win.

A missed opportunity for Vitesse, who will be disappointed by the goals conceded and the missed chances. In the group’s other game, Nice hammered Zulte Waregem 5-1.

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