Sports Mole's coverage of Fiorentina's comfortable 3-0 Europa League victory over Romanian side Pandurii Targu Jiu.
By Liam Power, Reporter Filed: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 19:58 UK
Last Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 at 15:18 UK
Fiorentina hosted Romanian outfit Pandurii Jargu Tiu in the Europa League this evening, looking to build on Sunday's superb 4-2 victory over Serie A holders Juventus.
La Viola boss Vincenzo Montella made wholesale changes but his side were still able to break the deadlock thanks to a fine finish from Joaquin Sanchez, with Brazilian youngster Ryder Matos doublinh their advantage soon after.
Pandurii's chances of responding were effectively ended midway through the second period, when Juan Cuadrado added a third for the hosts soon after coming on.
Look back at an efficient display which continued Fiorentina's 100% start in Group E with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.
8.00pmEvening European football fans. Thanks for sticking with Sports Mole as our Europa League coverage quickly switches to Group E, as Fiorentina host Romanian outfit Pandurii Targu Jiu in Tuscany.
8.02pmThere is just about time to bring you news of wholesale changes for Fiorentina this evening, which is probably no surprise given their efforts in Sunday's 4-2 win over Fiorentina. Hat-trick hero Giuseppe Rossi is among those rested, with Joaquin Sanchez given a chance to impress in attack. A full look at both sides will follow shortly.
8.04pmPREDICTION! With both sides out at a sparsely populated Artemio Franchi stadium there is just time for me to confidently predict a home win, despite Vincenzo Montella's decision to rotate. I'll go for 2-0 Fiorentina, with Ryder to mark a rare start by getting on the scoresheet.
1 minWe are underway in Florence, with Pandurii getting the match off to a quick start in a changed all-white strip. Fiorentina soon react and rob possession, as Tomovic collects out wide.
3 minOFF THE CROSSBAR! Panduri have just come within a whisker of breaking the deadlock through Eric Pereira, who saw a ferocious drive smash back off the crossbar with Neto beaten all ends up. Nearly a dream start for the Romanians.
6 minFiorentina finally show signs of their fluid passing style to win an early corner kick, but Valero's effort eventually finds Matos offside inside the penalty area.
9 minSAVE! Panduri continue a very strong start by forcing Neto into a fine stop at his near post. Ungurușan had the effort on goal after a direct approach took him past three defenders, but despite putting power behind his low effort he has to settle for a corner kick.
12 minLa Viola have been restricted to long passes early on, which is something of a surprise as Valero's floated effort just fails to reach Iakovenko. Plenty of encouraging signs for Pandurii, as they press high in midfield.
15 minBakic gets Fiorentina's effort on target as he forces Stanca to hold a low drive, with Pandurii quick to break at the other end through Ungurușan. His effort has power but lacks accuracy, missing the far post by at least three yards.
18 minThe first signs of discontent from the home crowd as Fernandez rather tamely loses possession in central midfield. Pandurii have been allowed to settle in possession early on, while breaking quickly with pace in the final third.
21 minJoaquin surges forward with pace after reacting quickly to a neat interception from Tomovic, but is just unable to thread a final pass into Iakovenko's path. More like it from La Viola.
24 minFiorentina are just beginning to dictate proceedings as Joaquin curls over the target from 25 yards, following neat approach play from Valero. Pandurii have lost the initiative by sitting deep, but look happy to wait for another chance to counter.
28 minA moment of sheer individual quality has just broken the deadlock, as Joaquin lights up the match with an inspired solo strike. The Spaniard turned neatly away from his marker before flicking beyond a second defender. With the goal at his mercy Joaquin stayed calm, rounding the goalkeeper before firing into an empty net. Advantage La Viola!
31 minPandurii just need to avoid falling further behind here as they suffer a shaky spell, with Ryder Matos winning a corner kick. Valero's delivery is well held by Stanca, allowing the visitors to breathe a sigh of relief momentarily.
36 minRyder Matos has just seized upon a defensive howler to double Fiorentia's advantage. The forward robbed Erico of possession and had the freedom of he opposition half to sprint into. After rounding the keeper the Brazilian youngster was confronted by two defenders, but quickly slipped a low strike into an empty net with the outside of his right foot. 2-0 to the hosts.
39 minThe forward assault continues from Fiorentina as Alonso breaks down the left to win a corner kick, but when Valero's cross arrives in the box Bakic is penalised for a foul. Pandurii have been found wanting at the back so far tonight and face an uphill battle to get back in this one.
42 minFiorentina look happy to keep possession and wait for the half-time whistle, before Tomovic sends a deep cross towards the far post. His delivery causes chaos in the six-yard box, but Yakovenko is penalised for a foul on Erico and with that the chance is gone.
44 minWe have a delay in play so Matos can receive treatment, after falling heavily under a challenge from Erico. The youngster eventually returns to his feet and thankfully looks fine to continue, with Alonso smashing the resulting free kick into the wall when play resumes.
8.58pmA comfortable lead at the break will have Fiorentina boss Montella delighted. Strikes from Joaquin and Matos have La Viola in complete control of the match and within touching distance of a third successive Europa League victory.
9.01pmPandurii can perhaps feel a little done to be two goals down at the interval, after starting brightly and hitting the woodwork just three minutes in. Eric Pereira's venomous strike came crashing back off the crossbar, with the Romanian's failing to build on that promising first exchange as they dropped deeper and deeper.
9.03pmWhen the opening goal did come it was something quite special, with Joaquin bursting past two defenders with a mix of pace and trickery before sending a composed finish into an empty net. The Spaniard is just starting to show glimpses of the form which made him a Spanish international more than 10 years ago!
9.06pmYou feel the Romanians have to score early to have any hope of a response in the second half, but are now in a tricky situation. A heavy defeat could damage morale if they push forward when play resumes, so it will be interesting to see how the Romanian's face up to the prospect of a third successive Europa League match without victory.
45 minSUBSTITUTION: We are back underway and with news of a change for Pandurii, with Nicoara replacing Dos Santos. We are about to find out if that swap can prompt a positive reaction for the visitors in the second period.
48 minPandurii very nearly catch the hosts cold with a wonderful cross into the penalty area, which just evades Ciucur's desperate dive at the near post. The Romanian's must settle for a corner kick and quickly waste the opportunity, with Erico unable to find the target after reacting quickest in the box.
51 minYELLOW CARD! Matias Fernandez picks up a very harsh caution after tussling with Anton in central midfield. The Chilean used his low centre of gravity to retrieve possession, but the referee decides that he did so unfairly and promptly books the playmaker.
54 minFiorentina have been a little slow to start in this second period, as Joaquin is dispossessed near the corner flag. Pandurri use that slack play to break down the left flank through Matulevičius, but his wayward effort finishes up well wide of the target.
57 minAlonso is crowded out on the touchline as Fiorentina are just made to work harder than they would like, with Compper smashing clear to concede a corner kick. When the cross comes in Neto is off his line quickly to claim, winning a free kick after being brought to the ground by Erico.
60 minSUBSTITUTION: Matos flashes wide and that strike proves to be his last action of the night, with Montella deciding to bring him off with fit strikers at a premium. There is no let up for Pandurii though, with Colombian international Juan Cuadrado taking his place!
63 minBuleica smashes wide of the near post from 30 yards for Pandurii as they continue to struggle for a route back into the match. The visitors have far from given up as they press forward once more, with Eric's effort from just inside the area blocked by Rodriguez.
66 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for La Viola as Montella rests key players. Rodriguez is the man replaced, with Roncaglia coming on to spend the remainder marshalling central defence.
69 minYELLOW CARD! Compper gets a deserved caution after committing his second foul in as many minutes, flying into the back of Eric on the halfway line with an over-zealous challenge. There is a still a professional job for the hosts to do here, as they look to close the door on any chances of a Pandurii revival.
73 minGame set and match La Viola as the substitute Cuadrado neatly tucks home their third goal. The Colombian found space after collecting a neat pass from Valero, but still had plenty to do from a wide angle. His measured drive flashed past Stanca, putting the three points beyond doubt for Montella's men.
76 minSUBSTITUTION: Cuadrado is thoroughly enjoying his cameo as a pacy burst down the left creates more danger, before eventually being crowded out near the corner flag. La Viola have just made their third and final change with the win safe, as Aquilani replaced Valero.
78 minOFF THE CROSSBAR! Iakovenko has just somehow headed against the woodwork from around six yards out. The Ukranian youngster met Aquilani's chip towards the far post with Stanca caught horribly out of position, but with the goal gaping could only make contact with the upright.
81 minEric Pereira has shown neat touches all night and continues that trend by firing an overhead kick towards goal, which ends staying central enough for a relieved Neto to claim comfortably.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Pereira's acrobatics proved to be his final contribution of the evening, with the Brazilian replaced by Argentine forward Distefano, who is no relation to his legendary namesake and countrymen.
87 minAlonso's latest forward raid wins Fiorentina a free kick just outside the penalty area. Fernandez steps up to take and his curling effort looks destined to find the bottom corner, but just swerves violently before finding the side-netting.
89 minYELLOW CARD! The largely anonymous Breeveld picks up a late caution after clattering into Fernandez, with the Dutchman showing signs of frustration after a fruitless evening in central midfield. The ordeal is nearly over for Pandurii as we head towards stoppage time.
90 min+1Fiorentina are cueing up for a fourth as we head towards stoppage time, but Cuadrado and then Aquilani both take too long to control inside the penalty area.
90 min+3OFF THE CROSSBAR! Cuadrado comes within inches of adding a fourth as he runs the length of the field, but after spotting Stanca off his line hits the crossbar. The Colombian was already wheeling away in celebration, but was denied by a cruel bounce of the upright.
10.02pmIn the end a comfortable win then for Fiorentina, which takes them to within touching distance of qualification from Group E. La Viola have taken maximum points from their first three group games despite rotating each time, which must fill Montella with confidence about the season ahead.
10.05pmA professional performance from La Viola just about brings an end to our live text coverage from the Europa League this evening, but be sure to stick with Sports Mole for comprehensive Europa League reaction all evening. Thanks for your company!