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A MARCH TO REMEMBER

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The month of March has been a whirlwind for all concerned at Fiorentina. With this week's brief respite from the schedule, why not indulge in a look back at all the highs (and one mighty collapse) from the past few weeks

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Sunday 1st March: Inter 0-1 Fiorentina

Fiorentina started the month as they meant to go on with their first victory in 15 years away to Internazionale. The goal came from a whipped in cross from Pasqual on the left, parried away by Samir Handanovic into the path of Mohammed Salah, who blasted his shot into the back of the net. It was the resilience of the defence though, that saved the points at the end of the game. Vincenzo Montella made a mistake with the last substitution, bringing on Juan Manuel Vargas for Alberto Aquilani whilst Nenad Tomovic was down injured. Tomovic had to come off, followed shortly by an injured Stefan Savic - leaving the remaining nine men to battle out a heart stopping final nine minutes before the victory was sealed.

STAR PERFORMER: MOHAMMED SALAH

Thursday 5th March: Juventus 1-2 Fiorentina (Coppa Italia Semi-Final First Leg)

There may have been a few fans who dreamed of an away win to Juventus in the Coppa Italia, but an actual prediction of this scoreline would have been a very brave one. Once again though, it was Egyptian ace Salah who made the difference. The deadlock was broken with a phenomenal solo effort, as he exploded with pace, taking the ball 60 yards down the field then unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner. Juventus hit back with a Fernando Llorente header but it was to be an unforgettable night for the Viola fans as Joaquin and Salah pounced on Claudio Marchisio's hesitancy to slot home the winner.

STAR PERFORMER: MOHAMMED SALAH

Monday 9th March: Lazio 4-0 Fiorentina

After the euphoria following the result against Juventus, Fiorentina were sent crashing back down to earth by Lazio the following Monday. This was a horrible game for all concerned, but looking back with the benefit of hindsight, the ramifications weren't nearly as bad as they could have been. Stefano Pioli's men are the in form team in Serie A, and have won all of their games since. The concern was that Fiorentina may have struggled to pick themselves up after such a heavy defeat but thankfully, this hasn't happened. The rotation of the squad played a part and Gonzalo Rodríguez was especially missed in the heart of the defence. Maybe on this occasion it was simply our turn for a heavy defeat.

STAR PERFORMER: NORBERTO NETO

Thursday 12th March Fiorentina 1-1 AS Roma (Europa League Last 16 First Leg)

Fiorentina were playing at home first in their tie with Roma and so needed to make their advantage count before a difficult (or so we thought) return leg in the capital. The viola were completely dominant in the first half, taking the lead through Josip Ilicic who emphatically smashed home from a tight angle but were made to pay for not converting their early dominance. Roma took the sting out of Fiorentina in the second half by slowing the game down with small fouls and with the help of some decidedly suspect refereeing, and managed to bag an equaliser, an anxiety inducing away goal. It was an evening of frustration and some regret for not making the early dominance count.

STAR PERFORMER: MILAN BADELJ

Monday 16th March: Fiorentina 2-1 AC Milan

Substitute Joaquín was the man to turn the game around for Fiorentina as he completely terrorised Milan in the final twenty minutes of the game. With seven minutes to go he provided a perfect cross for Gonzalo to convert with a thumping header. It was then Joaquín himself who turned goalscorer in the 89th minute as he headed home Manuel Pasqual's cross. From a fans perspective, coming from behind to win at the end is always exciting but the icing on the cake in this game was the Spaniard's outstanding solo performance.

STAR PERFORMER: JOAQUÍN

Thursday 19th March: AS Roma 0-3 Fiorentina (Europa League Last 16 Second Leg)

A barrage of Fiorentina goals from defenders Gonzalo Rodríguez, Marcos Alonso and Jose María Basanta had stunningly killed off this Europa League tie with Roma off in the first 22 minutes.  The rest of the game was played out in a strange fashion as the home team knew that they were well beaten, the real highlight being another incredible run from Salah, who hit the woodwork when he really deserved a goal for his efforts!

STAR PERFORMER: GONZALO

Sunday 22nd March: Udinese 2-2 Fiorentina

Fiorentina ended their frenetic run of games in March with a slightly disappointing 2-2 draw at the Friuli. Looking at it from a glass half full perspective though, this was the kind of game that could have easily become a defeat without the weight of the good run of results behind the team, and it was also excellent to see 2 goals from a fit again Mario Gomez.

STAR PERFORMER: MARIO GOMEZ

The break for Fiorentina will end on Saturday 4th April with a Saturday evening kick off at home to Sampdoria, who have won their last four league games and are just two points ahead of la viola in the table. The race for the European places will be fiercely fought out, with Lazio, Sampdoria and Fiorentina in much better form of late than Roma and Napoli. There will also be the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi final with Juventus to look forward to, plus a two-legged Europa League quarter final against FC Dynamo Kyiv. This season could be the year of something really special for Fiorentina. After the huge level of commitment from the squad and the manager, it is to be hoped that there will be a reward at the end for their achievements.