Fiorentina tasted the Champions League until the final six minutes, when Milan came back in Siena and made this 5-1 victory redundant.
The Viola knew they had to win against already-relegated Pescara and hope Milan failed to get all three points in Siena in order to snatch a Champions League spot. Marcelo Larrondo, Michele Camporese, Momo Sissoko and Mounir El Hamdaoui missed out, but Alberto Aquilani passed a fitness test and Adem Ljajic returned from a two-match ban. Pescara had Antonio Balzano banned, though Giuseppe Rizzo returned from suspension.
Pescara had a surprisingly strong start and Gonzalo Rodriguez was decisive when charging down a Ferdinando Sforzini turn in the box.
Stevan Jovetic aimed straight at Mattia Perin after Manuel Pasqual sprung the offside trap to set him up.
Fiorentina did break through when Juan Cuadrado got down the right on a Borja Valero through ball and flashed a pass across the six-yard box for Ljajic to tap in at the back post.
Ljajic added a second, as he sprung the offside trap on a Mati Fernandez pass and slipped the delicate finish under the on-rushing goalkeeper.
At the same time, news filtered through that Milan were incredibly losing 1-0 to relegated Siena.
Mati Fernandez made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark with a daisy-cutter from outside the box that flew into the far bottom corner.
Pescara ultras unveiled a large banner insulting the team and began walking out of the stadium before half-time.
Jovetic got in on the party too, springing the offside trap on a lucky ricochet to fire past Perin in a one-on-one situation.
It was turning into a training exercise and Ljajic completed his hat-trick with a low drive at the near post.
There was also time for further celebration, as Giuseppe Rossi made his debut in a Viola jersey after 18 months out with a double knee ligament injury.
Pescara got one back when Cristiano Lupatelli – given a late run-out – parried a Togni free kick into the path of debutant Vittiglio.
News filtered through in the final minutes that Milan had scored twice in quick succession to take the lead in Siena. Fiorentina faces fell with a mixture of disappointment and anger.