Jack Bezants for MailOnline

Southampton return to competitive action and European football as they host Vitesse, while West Ham’s European campaign continues against Astra Giurgiu.

West Ham needed a victory on penalties against Birkikara in the previous round and Slaven Bilic will be hoping that things will be smoother this time around against Astra Giurgiu at Upton Park.

As for Southampton, their remarkable rise continues as Ronald Koeman looks to mastermind a route into the Europa League proper against Dutch opposition.

Follow the action LIVE with JACK BEZANTS. 

Enner Valencia (left), Joey O'Brien (centre) and Mauro Zarate arrive for West Ham's Europa League game

Enner Valencia (left), Joey O’Brien (centre) and Mauro Zarate arrive for West Ham’s Europa League game

  • Jack Bezants

    Host commentator

He was pleased with that goal, was Graziano Pelle.

Nice assist there for Mane. He is so much fun to watch. Get the feeling that sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s doing so the opposition can’t either.

Brilliant goal!

Swift, incisive play from Southampton’s attacking trio of Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle results in the opening goal of Southampton’s European campaign.

Tadic picks out Mane with a clever pass and Pelle shifts forward between the defence instinctively.

Mane sees his run and threads the ball perfectly into his stride and the Italy international fires a thunderous strike beyond Room and into the top corner of the net with a stunning first-time finish.

Steven Davis goes close for Southampton, cutting inside from the left and unleashing a powerful strike at goal, but it is straight at the goalkeeper.

A reminder to those just joining that West Ham’s goalscorer, Enner Valencia, was taken off on a stretcher eight minutes before the break after making a challenge and appearing to get his foot caught under his weight.

Joey O’Brien also went off injured.

Sadio Mane of Southampton takes the ball past Denys Oliynyk of Vitesse

The Argentine picks up a clearance from a corner and curls a shot at target, which brings a stunning save from the Astra goalkeeper.

It is the final moment of the first half and West Ham reach the interval with a 1-0 lead.

Southampton growing into this, which has had the added effect of quietening the Vitesse fans. They were making an incredible racket before kick off.

Wanyama should have put Southampton ahead here and it is miraculous that he failed to do so!

Dusan Tadic’s delivery causes mayhem among the Vitesse defensive ranks and the Dutch side failed to get the ball away, instead dumping it at the feet of Wanyama 12 yards from goal.

The Kenyan has all the time in the world to pick his spot and steers a low shot at goal, but it lacks the power to get past Room. The rebound falls to Yoshida, whose effort is charged down strongly and results in appeals for a penalty, which are ignored.

Yoshida looks hurt by the challenge but slowly picks himself up.

Really neat play down the left from Southampton. It starts with Matt Targett, in for the injured Ryan Bertrand, who picks out Steven Davis on the halfway line.

The Northern Ireland international spots the diagonal run of Mane and finds him. Pelle is across in acres of space in the penalty area but Mane’s pass is diverted out for a corner by the last Vitesse defender.

Two subs in quick succession for West Ham and Slaven Bilic. Valencia is carried off on a stretcher and Modibo Maiga is his replacement.

Joey O’Brien has picked up a knock in West Ham’s game at Upton Park against Astra, and is replaced by Reece Burke.

And in more concerning news for the Hammers, the impressive Enner Valencia has stayed down after making a gentle challenge and the stretcher is coming out. He might have got his leg caught under his own weight.

35 minutes gone in the game which West Ham lead 1-0.

Should Yoshida do better with this? Sadio Mane’s trickery earns Southampton a corner, from which the Japan international’s movement gets him enough space to send a free header at goal from Steven Davis’ delivery.

Unfortunately for Southampton, he can only send his header safely into the hands of Eloy Room from about eight yards.

Valeri Kazaishvili has given Southampton an early scare. Maya Yoshida failed to clear a high delivery forward and Vitesse took control of the second ball.

Kazaishvili managed to get on the end of the resultant through pass and flashed a shot across goal, which went past the hand of Stekelenburg but also beyond the post. Good effort.

And Valencia marks his lively start with a goal!

Debutant Dimitri Payet has the assist. His corner was headed back out to him by Astra and his second delivery was much more incisive, picking out the leap of Valencia who headed in from the far post.

Over in east London, Texeira has just sent a shot into the side netting as Astra grow in confidence against West Ham at Upton Park.

Enner Valencia has been the liveliest player for Bilic’s side, in an otherwise lackluster display so far.

It’s a lively atmosphere at St Mary’s, with 1,500 supporters travelling from Holland to support Vitesse.

Jose Fonte gets his team round for a huddle before Southampton get the game underway.

There is a Chelsea presence in the Vitesse side here at St Mary’s, with four players on loan at the club.

The Premier League champions have a special relationship with the Dutch side and frequently send players there to gain experience on a temporary basis.

Sportsmail’s Oliver Todd has written about the Chelsea youngsters on loan in Holland this season, which you can read by clicking on the headline above.

No chances of note yet at Upton Park in a steady start by West Ham against Astra. Slaven Bilic is looking animated on the sidelines, though.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman on BT Sport: ‘We had a great season for the fans last year. We get to play in Europe and it is enjoyable for everybody.

‘We are Southampton, we are not used to playing every season in Europe. We have to enjoy that. It is an important game, we want to reach the group stages.

‘We know Dutch teams like to play offensive football and we will have to prepare for that.’

Astra get proceedings going at Upton Park, shooting towards the Bobby Moore stand in the first half.

Steven Caulker joined Southampton on a season loan from Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday but did not sign in time to be eligible to play this evening.

West Ham subs: Spiegel, Nolan, Jarvis, Maiga, Poyet, Burke, Samuelsen.

Southampton subs: Gazzaniga, Long, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Reed, Juanmi, McCarthy.

The striker has been out for over a year with a knee injury and is not even deemed worthy of a place on the substitute’s bench by Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, despite playing in pre-season.

Three debutants for the Saints though, in Stekelenburg, Cedric and Clasie.

West Ham fans can see two of their summer acquisitions in action for the first time tonight. Winger Dimitri Payet has been handed his first start in a Hammers shirt by Slaven Bilic, as has defender Angelo Ogbonna.

No matter what challenges are placed before them, Southampton continue to improve. In 2011, they won promotion from League One and now they are preparing to attempt to qualify for the Europa League, despite a number of key players leaving again this summer.

The first leg of their third round play-off is at home to Dutch side Vitesse. Will the Saints continue to march on?

A Southampton fan at St Mary’s in anticipation for the game against Vitesse

West Ham start their game 20 minutes before Southampton begin against Vitesse and the teams are already in from Upton Park. Kick-off there is under an hour away.

Thanks for joining me for the Europa League live. We have West Ham in action at Upton Park tonight, as they meet Astra Giurgiu while Southampton have a tricky tie against Vitesse at St Mary’s.

It promises to be an enthralling evening for these two teams and I will be taking you through all the action as it happens.



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