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Black Stars and Aston Villa striker Jordan Ayew’s participation in the English football second tier, Championship next season has been confirmed with the defeat at Manchester United.

Aston Villa have been relegated to English football’s second tier for the first time since 1987 after defeat at Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal, sweeping Antonio Valencia’s cut-back through goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s legs.

Villa were second best for much of the game, though they did hit a post late on through Rudy Gestede’s volley.

It was a ninth straight loss for the visitors and left them 15 points from safety with only four matches left.


European Cup winners in 1982, Aston Villa have a proud history but are facing a turbulent immediate future.

Caretaker manager Eric Black has spoken of the danger of the club falling into “anarchy” at the end of a miserable campaign played out against the backdrop of fan protests against Randy Lerner’s ownership.

Last time Villa were last relegated to the old second division they immediately returned under Graham Taylor and finished second in the top flight the following season.

At Old Trafford they were outplayed for the majority of the game until the introduction of Gestede gave the travelling supporters hope of salvaging something from the day they finally went down.

It was not to be though – and not many of those 1,500 or so supporters will expect their team to be competing in the Champions League by 2018.


Victory for United means they keep up the pressure on Manchester City in fourth place. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a one-point cushion but play Chelsea in Saturday’s 17:30 BST kick-off.

This was an important win in the race for a Champions League spot, and important too for the return of forward Wayne Rooney, who last played in the Premier League on 13 February.

The England captain was not at his best – one heavy touch on the edge of the box saw a golden chance slip away – but he played his part in a solid all-round performance from Louis van Gaal’s team.

The 18-year-old Rashford – who now has seven goals in 12 United appearances – should have added to his brilliantly taken first but prodded wide under pressure in a bright start to the second half, before Juan Mata could only fire straight at Guzan from a short corner.

Gestede almost drew Villa level when striking the post from a corner with just over five minutes to play, but United winger Memphis Depay was also denied by the post soon after – and United were deserved winners.

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10 times Micheal Essien made the headlines for the right reasons



Ghanaian midfielder Micheal Essien is one of the most famous footballers to ever come from the African continent.

Essien has been a journeyman in football and his name will go down as one of the finest midfielders to play the game.

The midfielder who last played for Indonesian side Persib Bandung has made global news for both wrong and right reasons in the past.

Seems his good side overrides any bad side of his illustrious career as he is one of the most decorated African Footballers.

Here are 10 times Micheal Essien made global headlines for the right reasons

1. Essien signs for Chelsea

Essien signed for English Premier League side Chelsea for a £24.4 million transfer fee and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.

2. Essien wins Chelsea Goal of the Season award

He won the Chelsea Goal of the Season award in the 2006–07 season after scoring a stunning late equaliser at home against Arsenal on 10 December 2006 in a Premier League game.

Essien is BBC African Best player of 2006

He won the 2006 BBC African footballer of the year award.

Essien excels in 2006 World Cup

  1. He played superbly for the Black Stars and helped Ghana become the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup.

Essien nominated 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year

  1. On 10 October 2007, Essien was nominated for the prestigious 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and on 21 October 2007, he was also nominated for the 2007 Ballon d’Or Award for the third consecutive year.

He was voted 15th Best Player in the World at the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Awards.

Essien is Chelsea Fans’ best player for 2007

  1. On 15 May 2007, Chelsea fans voted Essien as Chelsea Player of the Year for his contributions in the 2006–07 season, becoming the first African to receive the honour.

Essien is nominated for 2007 CAF best player

  1. On 12 December 2007, he was nominated for the 2007 African Footballer of the Year, the third consecutive time he had been nominated. He was runner-up to that year’s winner, Frédéric Kanouté.

Essien scores stunning goal against Barcelona

  1. On 6 May 2009, Essien scored a stunning left-footed volley in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, a tie that Chelsea ultimately lost due to the away goal rule.

The goal was later voted as Chelsea’s Goal of the Season by the club’s fans.

Essien joins Real Madrid

  1. On 31 August 2012, Essien signed a season-long loan deal with Real Madrid, reuniting him with his former manager at Chelsea, José Mourinho.

At his introductory press conference with Real Madrid, Mourinho affectionally referred to Essien as “his son” while Essien referred to Mourinho as his “Daddy”.

Essien moves to Milan

  1. Essien signed for Italian club Milan on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 27 January 2014
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