Football: Former European champions Villa relegated after losing 0-1 to Man United

Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring a goal for Manchester United at the Barclays Premier League at Old Trafford on April 16, 2016.
Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring a goal for Manchester United at the Barclays Premier League at Old Trafford on April 16, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Aston Villa's unbroken 28-year stint in English football's top flight ended on Saturday, when they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Teenage rising star Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of a game that left bottom-of-the table-Villa 15 points shy of safety, with only a maximum of 12 now available to the Birmingham club from their remaining four league matches this season.

The 18-year-old found room in the box before picking his spot past Villa keeper Brad Guzan for his seventh goal of the season.

The seven-time English champions lost for the ninth successive Premier League match, the second worst run in their history, after they fell to 11 straight defeats in the old First Division in 1963.

Villa, who won the European Cup in 1982, a year after their last English title success, have been bottom since the end of October.

They have been ever-present members of the Premier League since it started in 1992 and have played in the top flight since 1988.

England captain Wayne Rooney made his first appearance in the league since mid-February after fully recovering from a knee injury, before being replaced by Jesse Lingaard after 67 minutes.

United move up to fifth place in the standings on 56 points.