MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 06:50:49| >> :120:21840:21840:
Apr 16, 2016 at 3pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 75,411
Man UtdManchester United
Aston Villa
Rashford (32')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Marcus Rashford goal seals relegation for Aston Villa

Aston Villa are relegated from the Premier League for the first time courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Aston Villa have been officially relegated from the Premier League courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Eric Black's side went into the match knowing that only a win would further delay the inevitability of relegation, but Marcus Rashford got the only goal of the game to condemn the visitors to Championship football next season.

Joleon Lescott and teammates walk off the pitch after the Premier League game between Manchester United and Aston Villa on April 16, 2016© Getty Images

Villa had only won one of their last 40 league meetings against United and just one of their last 30 visits to Old Trafford, and sure enough they found themselves on the back foot early on as the hosts dominated possession in the opening exchanges.

United were largely limited to hoisting crosses into the box, which created half-chances for Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo in the opening 10 minutes.

Clear openings were tough to come by, though, and Juan Mata squandered the best of the opening half-hour when he sliced an effort out for a throw-in having skipped inside from the right flank.

Kieran Richardson sliced a half-volley over the crossbar shortly afterwards on a rare foray into the United half for Villa, but the breakthrough finally came for the hosts just past the half-hour mark.

Marcus Rashford is congratulated by Juan Mata after scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Aston Villa on April 16, 2016© AFP

The returning Wayne Rooney sent a long pass out to Antonio Valencia, whose low cross into the middle was turned in by Rashford as the youngster made it seven goals in 12 appearances since breaking into the first team.

A curling effort from Rooney drew a routine save from Brad Guzan just three minutes later, before Villa ended the half with their first real sight of goal when Jordan Ayew cut inside, only to see his shot blocked by Smalling.

The second half immediately fell into a similar pattern and United almost doubled their lead in the opening minutes when Rashford stayed on his feet after a rash challenge from Alan Hutton inside the penalty area before firing a low strike narrowly wide moments later.

Memphis Depay saw a curling effort fly over as the hosts continued to dominate possession, while shortly after the hour mark Villa fell asleep from a corner and needed Guzan to deny Mata from a tight angle.

Ciaran Clark tugs Wayne Rooney during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Aston Villa on April 16, 2016© Getty Images

They pulled the same trick again 16 minutes later and once more Villa were caught out, but this time Mata could only flash the ball across the face of goal.

For the most part, though, United's passing was far too laboured to really trouble the Villa defence, and the hosts almost paid the price for that as the visitors provided a late flurry in their final minutes before relegation.

Rudy Gestede's introduction sparked Villa's best period of the game as first Daley Blind was needed to deny the striker a simple tap-in after Ayew had got in behind the defence down the left flank.

A subsequent corner was hooked towards goal by Gestede but, with David de Gea rooted to the spot, the ball thumped off the post, before another corner moments later saw Ciaran Clark's header kept out by the United stopper.

Alan Hutton and Memphis 'who ate all' Depay in action during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Aston Villa on April 16, 2016© AFP

United weathered the late Villa storm, though, and could have even doubled their lead in stoppage time when Anthony Martial fed a pass through to Depay, who saw his low shot saved by Guzan and bounce up off the post on its way behind.

The final whistle confirmed relegation for Villa for the first time since 1987 as they lost their status as Premier League ever-presents, succumbing to a ninth straight defeat to move within two losses of the worst run in the club's history.

United, meanwhile, move to within one point of fourth-placed Manchester City as they look to push their local rivals to the end in the race for the final Champions League spot.

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Remi Garde is perpetually baffled during the Premier League game between West Ham and Aston Villa on February 2, 2016
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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