- Associated Press - Saturday, April 16, 2016

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Aston Villa was relegated from the English Premier League for the first time since 1987 after losing to Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford slotted home from Antonio Valencia’s cross in the 32nd minute.

Although the Midlands club was effectively relegated for some time, the result finally ended Villa’s ever-present status in the Premier League since its inception in 1992. Villa has lost nine games in a row, and a highly uninspiring performance against Man United typified the disappointing performances that have wrecked its season.

United remained fifth, provisionally one point behind rival Manchester City, which played Chelsea late.

Aston Villa is the fifth most successful team in English history, having won the first division and English FA Cup seven times each. It also won the 1982 European Cup. Just five years ago, Villa was challenging for European places.

Its demise was inevitable for much of the season, having won just three times, and rarely showing any quality. This week, the club cancelled its player of the year awards.

“It’s a mood of disappointment,” caretaker manager Eric Black said. “There are players in there capable of playing in the Championship.”

Villa holds the worst scoring and defense records in the league, with just 23 goals in 34 games.

“It’s part of football, we have to take that on the chin. It’s a tough time at the minute,” Villa defender Joleon Lescott said. “Now it’s confirmed, maybe it’s a weight off the shoulders and we can give these fans what they deserve, some performances.”

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