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Aston Villa relegated for the first time since 1987 after loss to Manchester United

And just like that, any hope of survival was gone.

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

For the first time since 4 May 1987, Aston Villa have been relegated out of the top flight of English football. We've known for a while that this was coming and getting it over with is probably better. Nevertheless, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that the 2016-17 season will be one spent in the Championship.

The death knell didn't come as early as it could have. Sunderland were able to pull off a 3-0 victory over Norwich City and stave off the executioner for a bit. That left Aston Villa with their own fate in their hands, and they did what we all expected by capitulating limply to Manchester United. With the loss, relegation was guaranteed.

The last time that Villa spent a year in second-tier football, they bounced right back up, and many fans will be hoping for something similar to the success of that 1987-88 season. But all signs point to a longer rebuild being necessary. With Randy Lerner trying to sell the club, and no manager in place, Aston Villa have a lot of work to do if they want to turn the club around.

But that all comes in the weeks ahead. For now we've got the rest of a season left with a team that look as if they couldn't possibly care less. We'll forgive you if you decide not to watch the last few matches.