Pandurii went into the clash still searching for their first win in Group E but took the lead in spectacular fashion on 32 minutes, with Eric Pereira breaking the deadlock by driving home a spectacular overhead kick.
La Viola rallied and produced a fine late response though to score twice in the closing stages, as Borja Valero's stoppage-time winner ensured safe passage to the last 32 with two matches to spare.
Look back on another efficient display in Europe from Vincenzo Montella's men with Sports Mole's live text commentary below.
5.33pmEvening European football fans. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for another marathon Thursday night of action from the Europa League, with our focus here on 100% starters Fiorentina and their trip to Romania, where Pandurii Targu Jiu are still searching for their first win in the competition.
5.36pmLa Viola have made a strong start to the season both in Serie A and Europe, with Vincenzo Montella successfully balancing a fight on two fronts thus far. Three wins from three in Group E have Montella's men on the verge of securing qualification for the knockout stages, which would be guaranteed with victory tonight.
5.39pmFiorentina took on Pandurii for the first time in their history two weeks ago, emerging as comfortable 3-0 winners despite making wholesale changes. Fringe players such as Joaquin Sanchez and Ryder Matos took the chance to shine in that match, both scoring fine solo goals to keep the momentum building in Tuscany.
5.42pmPandurri meanwhile have endured a difficult start to their maiden Europa League campaign, taking just a solitary point from their first three group games to leave qualification hopes hanging by a thread. The pressure will be on to improve tonight in front of their own supporters, at their temporary home for European fixtures at the Cluj Arena.
5.45pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! We have just received word on the starting XIs from Transylvania and Montella has decided to make wholesale changes, with Gonzalo Rodriguez and Alberto Aquilani the only survivors from last weekend's win over AC Milan at the San Siro. A full look at both lineups will follow shortly.
5.52pmNo surprises then that Montella has decided to rotate this evening, but with the likes of Juan Giullermo Cuadrado, Joaquin and Matias Fernandez all selected La Viola are still clear favourites to claim all three points tonight. Ryder Matos will lead the line, flanked by Joaquin and Yakovenko.
5.54pmAlso well worth noting that Montella has decided to hand one of his summer signings a full debut this evening, with Uruguay goalkeeper Gustavo Munua preferred to Neto for the first time. Munua should anticipate a busier night that Neto enjoyed against Pandurii two week ago, which saw the Brazilian go largely untested after a busy first five minutes.
5.56pmPandurii meanwhile will be largely reliant on a trio of South Americans for flair in the final third tonight, with Alex supported in a lone front role by Eric de Oliveira and Distefano, no relation to the legendary Argentine striker. The pressure is on for the Romanians tonight, anything but a victory will likely see them eliminated from the competition.
5.59pmPREDICTION! As we await the two teams I am afraid I don't hold out much hope for Pandurii this evening, unless they can catch Fiorentina cold and complacent with a home advantage. Joaquin and Cuadrado's pace should be too much for the hosts to handle, so I'll go for a 2-1 win for La Viola.
0 minWe are underway in Romania, with Fiorentina getting us underway shooting from left to right. La Viola quickly settle in possession from deep, in a sparsely populated stadium in Cluj.
2 minAlonso is quickly charged down by Buleica as Pandurii press high to win back possession, before Stanca's wayward goal kick gives his defenders some work to do early on.
4 minTheatrics from Alex dos Santos inside the penalty area fail to get a response from the referee, who quickly waves play on. Fiorentina use the chance to look long for Cuadrado with a diagonal pass, but he is quickly charged down by two defenders and forced to settle for the a throw-in.
6 minThe first signs of quality from Fiorentina in possession as Iakovenko and Alonso combine out wide, with the former's low cross hammered clear. Aquilani's advance into the final third then sees Cuadrado and Joaquin all get early touches, but Fernandez's poor first touch soon ends a promising spell of pressure.
8 minCuadrado looks bright early on and nearly picks out Joaquin down the line, before switching possession unsuccessfully in search of Iakovenko.
10 minMore neat work from Cuadrado wins the first corner kick of the evening, which Joaquin floats towards the far post. His cross has a little too much power behind it though, missing a string of purple shits as Pandurii head clear.
12 minMatos wants a penalty kick after gliding past Pandurii captain Christou. The referee has a long hard look at the incident and decides that contact was minimal, having a short word with the young Brazilian as he gets up to protest further.
14 minMuch better from Matos as he drops off the front to collect possession, before flicking into the air and volleying towards goal. His clever effort lacks accuracy though, clearing the crossbar by quite a distance and floating harmlessly over.
17 minPandurri are struggling to leave their half for any sustained spell as Aquilani and Fernandez dictate play from midfield. The hosts finally escape danger as Rodriguez floats an aimless long pass out of play, but they need to show more intent going forward as Distefano hammers a cross out of play from out wide.
20 minCuadrado is hauled to the ground by a strong shoulder charge from Alex, gifting Fiorentina the ball back with a needless foul. The hosts are quick to retrieve possession and smash long, forcing Munua to get involved for the first time tonight to come off his line and sweep up the danger.
23 minA decent strike from range sees Pandurri strike at goal for the first time tonight, with Buleica dragging an effort wide of the target from just outside the penalty area. The Romanians are just starting to show more encouraging signs here, as they send a pair of measured crosses into the penalty area.
26 minYELLOW CARD! Erico becomes the first player cautioned and can have little complaints after bundling Matos to the ground just outside the box. Luckily for the Brazilian defender one of his teammates was covering, or that could well have been a red card.
28 minSUBSTITUTION: Pandurri have been forced to make an early change in between the sticks, with Stanca unable to continue. He is quickly replaced by Pedro who comes on to face a free kick from Alonso, which floats harmlessly into the wall.
31 minSAVE! Pedro's first contribution of the night is a positive one, rushing off his line to shut down Joaquin after a swift Fiorentina break. The Spaniard attempts a chipped effort but has no space to find the target, with Sipo parrying clear.
35 minEric Pereira has without question scored the goal of the night anywhere in Europe, breaking the deadlock with a quite wonderful overhead kick. The Brazilian met Buleica's cross with an acrobatic volley on the turn, which sailed over Munua and into the far corner. A superb strike and a huge boost for the Romanians!
38 minVery nearly 2-0 as Pandurri rob possession high up the pitch and break through the goalscorer Eric Pereira. His attempted exchange with Alex lacks composure though, allowing Rodriguez to block with a fine covering challenge. Fiorentina are on the ropes here, something that looked unimaginable five minutes ago.
41 minThe hosts win a dangerous free kick after Roncaglia is penalised for a late challenge, but Rodriguez is able to head away with authority. Fiorentina just need to regroup until the break here, as Compper is chased down by Momcilovic out wide.
44 minSUBSTITUTION: Injury has forced Pandurii to make their second change of the night just before the break. Erico is unable to continue after suffering what appears to be a muscle strain, with Mamele quickly drafted in as a replacement.
45 min+1Cuadrado just hesitates when presented with the chance to shoot, allowing a Pandurii defender to intercept his low drive with a covering block. The hosts then charge up field and win a corner kick, which is also quickly cleared as Alonso spreads wide to Cuadrado.
6.52pmWell we have a potential shock on our hands in Group E, with Pandurii taking a narrow advantage into the break thanks to a truly spectacular strike from Eric Pereira. A goal that could well become a YouTube sensation in the next 24 hours separates the two sides.
6.55pmIn truth Pandurii showed few signs of breaking the deadlock in the first 30 minutes, with Fiorentina probing without creating any clear-cut opportunities. The visitors were caught cold by a magnificent overhead kick though, which leaves Montella's men needing a positive reaction to secure qualification this evening with two games to spare.
6.58pmFiorentina have in truth been restricted to few chances, with Joaquin spurning their best opening of a frustrating 45 minutes. Montella looked less than pleased as his troops trudged off at the interval, but even with wholesale changes players such as Cuadrado, Aquilani and Matos are well equipped to break down a stubborn home rearguard.
7.01pmBENCH WATCH! Pandurii have already been forced to make two changes in the first period, but Fiorentina have a whole host of options available to them in reserve as they look to overturn this scoreline. Borja Valero and Josip Ilicic look the most likely replacements, with the Spanish playmaker in fine form and capable of unlocking any defence on his day.
45 minSUBSTITUTION: As the second half gets underway there is news of a change for La Viola and Valero has indeed been introduced, taking the place of Iakovenko. A sure sign that Montella wants qualification wrapped up tonight as we resume in Romania.
48 minAn early strike on goal for Matos as he tests Pedro, with the sub goalie down quickly to keep the Brazilian at bay. An encouraging start for the visitors, as Alonso drives down the wing before having a powerful crossed cleared.
51 minCuadrado beats the offside trap with a clever run in-behind but is always stretching to meet a deep diagonal cross, heading well wide. Fiorentina have made a clear statement of intent since the break, pressing like they did in the first 30 minutes.
54 minAquilani flashes just over the crossbar with a strike from 25 yards, with his drive dipping late but still finishing up over Pedro's goal. La Viola are probing deep in the final third as Cuadrado is just shut down inside the penalty area after beating two players.
57 minCHANCE! Valero should have just drawn the visitors level from close range, after ghosting into the box to meet a long diagonal from Rodriguez. The Spaniard had time to pick his spot from eight yards but was far too casual with a first-time finish, which trickled wide of the near post. A golden opportunity wasted.
59 minYELLOW CARD! Momcilovic is cautioned after leaving a trailing leg out to bring down Joaquin just wide of the penalty area. From the free kick Fernandez has two bites of the cherry with strikes from distance, but both are blocked clear as the hosts hang on.
62 minMomcilovoic is involved again but very nearly for the right reasons, as his powerful drive from distance is parried rather than caught by Munua. His spill nearly falls to Alex, who elects to pass rather than shoot and with that the chance is gone.
65 minPandurii have four players racing forward after some slack play from Fiorentina in midfield gifts the hosts possession, but Alex can only send a header well wide at the near post. La Viola quickly counter and win a corner kick, with Valero's curling cross knocked clear.
68 minJoaquin is the latest to be caught in possession and Pandurii quickly take the chance to spring forward, with Eric Pereira flashing over the top from range. Fiorentina are pressing the action but leaving themselves open on the counter, leaving a high chance of us seeing a second goal in this match.
71 minSUBSTITUTION: Montella sends Ilicic on up front in place of Fernandez as Fiorentina commit another player forward in search of an equaliser. After a bright start to the second half their most recent play has looked a little more subdued, but still plenty of time to change that as we approach the closing stages.
73 minYELLOW CARD! Rodriguez picks up a caution after lunging into a tackle on Alex, with a hint of cynicism about his tackle despite protests otherwise. Time is running out here for La Viola, as Ilicis and Matos press high up the pitch.
75 minCuadrado cuts inside and slams into the side-netting, with the Colombian just dragging his effort a touch from a tight angle. Matos then drives forward in the next passage of play, winning a corner kick after having his cross from the by-line blocked.
77 minAlex smashes over from a full 40 yards out as Pandurii give their defence a breather with another break from the front two. Buleica then shows a surprising turn of pace to beat Alonso out wide, with the Spaniard recovering to block his cross at the expense of a corner kick.
80 minSUBSTITUTION: Fiorentina make their final change as Capezzi replaces Roncaglia. Frustration is growing for La Viola, with Borja Valero and Anton both booked after exchanging heated words in midfield.
83 minJoaquin has a shot charged down from just inside the penalty box after using his pace to cut inside, with Fiorentina now met by a five-man defence in the latter stages. Width is surely the key to creating a late equaliser, but Cuadrado and co. seem keen to keep driving inside a congested middle third.
89 minHeartbreak for Pandurii as they conceded with less than five minutes left. The hosts failed to clear after Ilicic had a drilled free kick blocked away, with Cuadardo picking up the pieces. His run down the line resulted in a cross hammered into the six-yard box, with Matos getting enough on the delivery to tap home from close range. A lifeline for La Viola!
90 min+1Valero nearly wins it in stoppage time for the visitors, with his fine curling drive turned parried by Pedro. From the corner kick Cuadrado picks up a short pass and once again hammers into the box, but Matos is caught offside just as he sends a second effort into the back of the net.
90 min+3In stoppage time Valero has won it for the visitors, meeting another clever cross from Cuadrado with an effort that trickles just inside the far post. That will be enough to send Fiorentina through to the knockout stages.
7.55pmWell in the end two goals in the final few minutes have proved enough for Fiorentina to maintain their 100% record in Europe this season, with Pandurii's spirited effort not enough to avoid early elimination from the group stages.
7.58pmThat will just about do it for our live text commentary from Transylvania, but be sure to stick with Sports Mole as out attention turns to more Europa League action very shortly. Good evening!