Everton 1-2 Man Utd
Everton's season of optimism ended in despair as Manchester United robbed David Moyes' men of European football.
Blackburn's romp at Spurs meant Everton needed victory against newly-crowned champions Manchester United to clinch a place in the Uefa Cup.
And when Kevin Campbell struck an early goal they looked on course to end the season in sixth place.
It's been a great season for the club - we showed hunger right until the end
Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson
But David Beckham scored a trademark free-kick just before the interval - and Ruud van Nistelrooy's late penalty meant United ended their season in style.
It gave Van Nistelrooy his 25th goal of the season - and the Golden Boot award as the Premiership's highest scorer.
United picked a full-strength side, despite clinching the title last week.
Everton got the perfect start in their quest for Europe when they went ahead after only eight minutes.
8 mins: Campbell heads Villa in front.
42 mins: Beckham puts Man Utd level.
78 mins: Van Nistelrooy puts Man Utd ahead from the spot.
Gary Naysmith worked a short corner to Thomas Gravesen and his cross was met with a firm near post header by Campbell.
Everton had kept United's master marksman Van Nistelrooy at arm's length for most of the early stages, but he should have scored when he was set clear by Beckham only to roll a finish wide.
Both sides were forced to make changes before the break as the high-tempo action continued.
Cambell limped off to be replaced by Duncan Ferguson, and then Wes Brown fell awkwardly when challenging Wayne Rooney and was carried off.
We feel like losers and it is bitterly disappointing not to make Europe
United were starting to threaten, and it was no surprise when the champions equalised three minutes before the interval.
Beckham floated in a brilliant right-foot finish from 20 yards after David Unsworth fouled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United sent on Laurent Blanc at half time for the final performance of his illustrious career, and he was swiftly booked for fouling Rooney.
Rooney had been causing United all sorts of problems, and he almost put Everton ahead after 51 minutes when he steered Gary Naysmith's cross wide from close range.
The youngster was Everton's best hope, and he was narrowly off target again after 62 minutes when he raced clear of the United defence.
And he then forced a brilliant save out of Roy Carroll as Everton pressed for the goal that would take them back into Europe.
But United pressed forward, and inevitably it was Van Nistelrooy who was on target with 12 minutes left.
Alan Stubbs fouled the Dutchman, and he recovered his composure to beat Richard Wright.
Everton: Wright, Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson, Carsley, Gravesen (Chadwick 75), Naysmith (Pistone 83), Rooney,
Campbell (Ferguson 40).
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Gemmill.
Booked: Gravesen, Hibbert, Rooney, Stubbs, Ferguson.
Man Utd: Carroll, Brown (Phil Neville 40), Ferdinand,
Silvestre, O'Shea (Blanc 45), Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs,
van Nistelrooy, Solskjaer (Fortune 78).
Subs Not Used: Veron, Butt.
Booked: Ferdinand, Blanc, Phil Neville.
Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).