Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Villans finally relegated as Rashford scores only goal of game

It was last chance saloon for Aston Villa, and they failed to produce at Old Trafford.

Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Villans finally relegated as Rashford scores only goal of game
The Aston Villa defenders can only watch on as Rashford flicks in the opener (photo: Ian Hodgson)
Manchester United
1 0
Aston Villa
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Mata, Rooney, Memphis, Rashford.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Clark, Lescott, Cissokho, Westwood, Gueye, Richardson, Bacuna, Sinclair, Ayew.
SCORE: 1-0, Rashford 32'.
REFEREE: Kevin Friend (ENG): Booked - Richardson
INCIDENTS: Premier League game.

Marcus Rashford's first half goal saw Aston Villa lose 1-0 against Manchester United on Saturday, confirming the Villans' relegation.

Eric Black's team selection did little to inspire, the caretaker manager again resisting calls to select young, exciting players such as the likes of Jack Grealish and Adama Traore. That was in some contrast to Louis van Gaal's selection, with the breakthrough star Rashford lining up against Villa's weak defence. 

United start on top

Considering they needed to win to extend their Premier League survival for at least one more week, it was an interesting decision for Villa to seemingly park the bus from kick-off.

That invited pressure from the home side, who were only too happy to give the ball to technically gifted players such as Juan Mata and wait patiently to break the visitors down.

It was Mata who actually had the first real chance of the game, linking up with Rashford just past the 20 minute mark. Jinking inside onto his left foot, the Spaniard beat Joleon Lescott, only to drag his shot horrendously wide of Brad Guzan's goal.

Rashford's remarkable run continues

That mattered for little around 10 minutes later though, as Rashford gave United the lead - scoring what proved to be the game's only goal. United captain Wayne Rooney, back from injury, pinged a beautiful ball out to Antonio Valencia on the right, with it taking Rashford just one touch to put the ball past Guzan from Valencia's low cross.

Rashford celebrates on a sunny day at Old Trafford (photo: Ian Hodgson)
Rashford celebrates on a sunny day at Old Trafford (photo: Ian Hodgson)

There was a good chance for Villa to get level before half-time, as Jordan Ayew won the ball back before setting up Kieran Richardson in the box. Richardson, however, couldn't produce the goods, his shot blocked by Chris Smalling.

Despite that chance, there was little offered by the Villans in the second half. They sent more bodies forward in an attempt to protect their Premier League status, but couldn't create much and instead allowed United in on the counter.

Rashford spurned chances to make it two after some delightful passes from Mata, whilst Rooney's touch let him down following a magnificent pass from Memphis Depay putting him through.

All over for Aston Villa

There was one late, late chance for an equaliser, that really should have been taken. Rudy Gestede was sent on as a substitute, and had what looked like a routine tap-in blocked by Daley Blind, with David de Gea nowehere to be seen. From the resulting corner, Gestede rose highest, but could only watch on as his header bounced back off the bar.

Villa were down and out, and are now down.