Southampton reach Europa League play-offs….

Graziano Pelle

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.

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