So, now we move to the second half of the season. The first half was amazing, despite some road woes and some dropped points, Fiorentina had dominated possession in nearly every match they had played and everything looked bright.
Adding to the buzz around the squad was the surprise pickup of Giuseppe Rossi, even though it was likely he wouldn't see the pitch much, if at all. The move proved that Viola brass were serious about this project.
Fiorentina came off winter break on a two game winning streak and, with a home match against lowly Pescara, looked to continue the trend. But...
January 6, 2013 Pescara 2-0 loss
Pescara were already relegation threatened and looked to be an easy win, but someone named Mattia Perin stepped up and ruined the Viola party. Fiorentina out possessed Pescara with 70% of the ball, out shot them 29-6, FIFTEEN of those shots were on net, but all of those were saved by Perrin. To further compound the injury, Neto was only able to stop one shot of three that Pescara got on net.
What if La Viola had been able to get more from some of the early shots that they (mostly Toni) just fired straight at the goalie, giving him confidence and setting him up for the harder saves he made later in the match. Clearly, this was 3 points lost.
January 27, 2013 @Catania 2-1 loss
After a 3-1 loss at Udinese and a 1-1 draw against Napoli at the Franchi, neither of which were really all that unexpected, Fiorentina traveled to Catania, and, in what looked like it could have easily been the first win of the new year, Fiorentina gave up a 1-0 lead, the goal scored by Miggliacio. Catania equalized shortly after halftime and late in the match, Aquilani got himself red carded for dissent and Catania quickly capitalized for the win. Fiorentina had more possession, more than double the shots taken(14), but only got 3 shots on net. Once again Neto was not sufficient.
What if Aquilani just shut the hell up, would've been a tie. 2 points lost
February 26, 2013 @Bologna 2-1
After beating Parma for the first win of the year, losing at Juve and absolutely drubbing Inter, 4-1, Fiorentina fans had thought that perhaps the funk the squad had been in since winter break was finally over, but that proved to not be the case. The match in Bologna was delayed, due to heavy snow, and Fiorentina looked distracted at best at the kick off. Bologna hit the post early. The home squad's chance seemed to wake up Fiorentina, however and they took the lead at the half hour mark courtesy of Adem Ljajic. But Bologna hit two goals in a row and Luca Toni missed a golden opportunity to tie it up late but couldn't get the ball on net. Similar to the start of the season, Fiorentina had trouble getting balls on net, getting 16 shots, but only 3 were on target.
What if Luca Toni was able to score while unmarked to rescue Fior. At least one point lost.
March 30, 2013 @Cagliari 2-1 loss
After a win at home against Chievo, a huge victory on the road at Lazio and barely squeaking by Genoa, Fiorentina went to Cagliari. the match was played behind closed doors and once again Fiorentina dominated play with 59% possession, out shooting the home squad 23-9, but once again, their shots were wild with 20 of their 23 shots off the target. To further compound Viola fans pain, Jovetic went out injured. Cagliari started the scoring 11 minutes in and then doubled the lead on a PK, Cuadrado brought Fiorentina back but misses late from Aquilani and Toni sealed their fate.
What if Luca Toni didn't miss a wide open net 2 minutes from stoppage. 1 point lost
May 4, 2013 AS Roma 1-0 loss
After a tie with Milan and wins against Atalanta, Torino and Sampdoria, Roma came to town. This one was perhaps the most painful of the what ifs as it wasn't the team but the ref that gave this match away. Fiorentina dominated this match for 85 minutes but were only able to get the ball off the pole. A clear handball by De Rossi ignored lead to a late Osvaldo score.
What if Bergonzi wasn't such a horrible ref... at least 1 pt lost.
Fiorentina finished the year with three straight wins, finished strongly in fourth and nearly tied Milan for third place. But due to the close finish Viola fans were left scratches their heads wondering "What if....."