Everton 2-2 VILLA
Villa kept the European dream alive by twice coming from behind for a battling point at Goodison Park.
And Martin O'Neill's never say die side fully deserved a share of the spoils as they played their part in a dramatic encounter.
Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew scored the goals to cancel out strikes from Phil Neville and then Joseph Yobo.
The result leaves Villa three points behind Everton in the race for fifth spot with two games remaining.
Knight slid the ball away from Johnson on two as the striker looked to meet a Fernandes cross from the right.
Knight deflected Osman's long range effort behind for a corner two minutes later.
Carew's right-foot shot on the turn was deflected behind on eight.
Barry dragged a rising left-foot drive wide of the upright a minute later.
Carson palmed Yakubu's angled drive away to safety on 19 with Fernandes slicing wide from the follow up.
Carew's clever chip almost found Young on 25 but Howard raced off his line to clear the danger.
Villa almost had the lead on 30 as Young rattled the crossbar with a right-foot free-kick from the edge of the box.
Mellberg headed wide from another Young free-kick - this time from the left - three minutes later.
Jagielka slid in to deny Reo-Coker as the midfielder shaped up to shoot from the edge of the box on 37.
Osman's shot was charged down by Reo-Coker on 51. Moments later Young and Agbonlahor broke but Carsley cleared the danger.
The hosts had the lead on 55 as Yakubu's left-wing cross eluded everyone and Neville fired home an angled drive from the edge of the box.
Villa penalty appeals fell on deaf ears a minute later as Mellberg's downward header appeared to be handled in the box.
Yakubu dragged a low right-foot shot wide of the target on 58.
Howard tipped Carew's looping header from a Young corner over the bar on 61.
The Everton keeper then pounced on a loose ball seconds later as Agbonlahor headed goalwards from a Barry corner.
Reo-Coker deflected a long range Fernandes effort wide for a corner on 65.
Laursen headed across the face of goal from a Young free-kick on 69.
Villa levelled matters on 80 as Agbonlahor met Young's right-wing corner with a rising half volley into the roof of the net.
Yobo restored Everton's lead on 84, volleying home from Carsley's cross to the edge of the six-yard box.
As Everton were still celebrating though Carew brought Villa level once more just a minute later, heading home from Barry's centre.
Carson brilliantly denied Yobo on 90, palming the defender's header away to safety.
Everton: Howard, Yobo, Lescott, Johnson, Jagielka, Neville, Pienaar, Osman, Yakubu (booked 39), Fernandes, Carsley (booked 42). Subs: Wessels, Hibbert, Baines, Arteta (for Fernandes 66), Anichebe (for Johnson 83 - booked 90).
VILLA: Carson, Mellberg, Bouma, Laursen, Knight, Barry, Reo-Coker, Petrov (booked 28), Young (booked 87), Agbonlahor, Carew. Subs: Taylor, Harewood (for Bouma 79 - booked 90), Salifou, Routledge, Berger (for Knight 76).