It was virtually sealed last weekend, but now it is 100% official – Aston Villa will be playing in the Championship next season.
Norwich City’s 3-0 defeat at home to Sunderland earlier today had at least left their fate in their hands for a few more hours, but a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford sealed Aston Villa’s fate.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 16, 2016
Marcus Rashford’s goal on the half-hour mark was enough to seal the win for Louis van Gaal’s side and send the managerless Villans on the way to their grim fate being confirmed.
It is the first time in almost three decades that Aston Villa will not be in the top tier of English football – but in truth this was an eventuality that was on the cards for some time.
With just sixteen points to their name, the Aston Villa of 15/16 already ranks as one of the worst sides to ever compete (if it can be called that) in a Premier League season. In fact, only Derby County’s eleven point haul in 2007/08 is worse; Villa have four games remaining to put a few more points on the board and restore some dignity, but realistically there is not much of a possibility of that happening.
In terms of who will join Villa, Norwich’s loss today, coupled with wins for Newcastle and Sunderland, has left the relegation battle all to play for once again.
Here’s how the bottom of the Premier League table looks#AVFC down
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) April 16, 2016
No manager, few saleable assets, a boardroom divided and a disenchanted fan base – it could be a long way back for Aston Villa.
Last time they went down, they came straight back up again. With the mood around the club as toxic as it currently is, however, it is hard to see how such a scenario is possible in the current environment.