LONDON: Aston Villa’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United confirmed their relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
But Sunderland and Newcastle gave themselves survival lifelines with respective victories against Norwich and Swansea
Sorry Villa’s 28-year stay in the top flight came to an end with a 24th defeat in 34 league games.
Wayne Rooney was back in the United starting line-up for the first time since February 13 following a knee injury, but it was new Old Trafford hero Marcus Rashford who sealed Villa’s fate.
Teenager Rashford turned in Antonio Valencia’s 32nd-minute cutback for his seventh goal in 12 games.
Sunderland won the big battle at the bottom 3-0 to narrow the gap on Norwich to one point and hand themselves hope of beating the drop.
Defeat for the Black Cats would have left them seven points adrift of Norwich and safety, with boss Sam Allardyce facing relegation from the Premier League for the first time in his career.
But the visitors were by far the better side to emphatically record only a second win in 12 matches.
Sunderland’s breakthrough arrived four minutes before half-time when Andre Wisdom felled Fabio Borini in the area and the Italian got up to score from the penalty spot.
Jermain Defoe added a second eight minutes after the re-start, finishing Borini’s cross at the far post for his 16th goal of the season, before substitute Duncan Watmore wrapped up victory in stoppage time.
Newcastle beat Swansea 3-0 to secure their first win under new boss Rafael Benitez at the fifth attempt.
Jamaal Lascelles broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time with only his second Newcastle goal, heading home Andros Townsend’s corner.
Moussa Sissoko eased Newcastle’s nerves eight minutes from time and Townsend added a third in the final seconds for Newcastle to move within three points of Norwich with a game in hand.
In the evening kick-off, Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick and Kevin De Bruyne starred on his return to Stamford Bridge as Manchester City defeated 10-man Chelsea 3-0 to climb to third in the league.
This was a match between last season’s top two – but both have fallen from grace since last August, and both managers here knew they would be looking for work in the summer.
The visitors appeared buoyant, with a first Champions League semi-final in the bag, and two breakaway goals and a late penalty from Aguero – Thibaut Courtois sent off after conceding the spot-kick with a foul on Fernandinho – kept City on course to achieve their revised goal of a top-four finish.
Everton’s wait for a league victory goes on after a 1-1 home draw with Southampton.
It is now six games without a win for the FA Cup semi-finalists after Ramiro Funes Mori’s low strike midway through the second half was cancelled out by Sadio Mane eight minutes later.
Watford secured a first win in seven league games with a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich.
Ben Watson grabbed the winner after 27 minutes when he met Adlene Guedioura’s corner.
But Heurelho Gomes was the Hornets’ hero as he stopped two Saido Berahino spot-kicks in the second half, the Brazilian becoming the first goalkeeper to save two penalties in two different Premier League games.
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