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Villa get a rude awakening


Fernando Forestieri Picture: PA

Fernando Forestieri Picture: PA

Fernando Forestieri Picture: PA

Aston Villa marked their return to the second tier of English football with a 1-0 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday as their Championship campaign got off to a stuttering start at Hillsborough.

Villa failed to clear their lines following a sliced clearance from goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini in the 85th minute and the ball fell to striker Fernando Forestieri who made no mistake from close range.

Former European champions Villa were relegated for the first time since 1988 after their dire showing in the Premier League last season, when they finished in 20th place with 17 points.

Ashley Westwood, Jordan Ayew and Ross McCormack all missed chances to put Villa ahead before Forestieri's winner.