John Carew is congratulated by his teammates after netting Villa's equaliser
By Les Roopanarine
Everton drew a line under their recent travails with a hard-fought draw against Aston Villa as both teams finished the match with 10 men.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov drew first blood, stroking home for Everton after he was set up by Yakubu.
Substitute John Carew levelled after Tim Howard could only parry a stinging effort from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
A dramatic finale saw Bilyaletdinov sent off for a two-footed challenge before Carlos Cuellar likewise saw red.
The point provides a welcome respite for Everton manager David Moyes, for whom October has been the cruellest of months.
After stuttering badly last autumn, when they managed only one October victory, Everton have failed to register a single league win this time round, and had suffered three successive defeats in a torrid 10-day spell coming into the game.
The Merseysiders' malaise has largely been down to the corrosive effect of injuries, with Phil Jagielka's defensive obduracy and skipper Phil Neville's leadership qualities missed as sorely as the creative impetus of Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar.
Moyes praises players' endeavour
But the return of Russia international Bilyaletdinov, together with defensive duo Leighton Baines and Joseph Yobo, provided an infusion of fresh momentum that was enough to hold Villa to a third successive Premier League draw.
Perhaps suffering a physical hangover after their midweek Carling Cup encounter with Sunderland, which they won on penalties, Villa failed to create enough in the final third and it required the half-time arrival of Carew, who has now scored in four successive league matches against the Toffees, to rescue a point.
String-puller-in-chief for Everton was Bilyaletdinov, whose sprightly creativity down their left flank found a natural outlet in the intelligent runs of Marouane Fellaini and prodigious work-rate of Yakubu.
Yet for all their early buoyancy, Everton struggled to break down a Villa defence expertly marshalled by James Collins and Goodison Park alumnus Richard Dunne.
A sliding tackle from Collins prevented Bilyaletdinov's cross from reaching Fellaini at the near post before Brad Friedel was forced to palm over a Yakubu centre.
Villa responded with an Ashley Young free-kick that almost found Dunne in space at the far post, while efforts from Stephen Warnock and Emile Heskey whistled comfortably wide of Howard's goal.
After an auspicious start, a fixture that traditionally delivers goals by the hatful was lurching into damp-squib territory.
But with the interval beckoning Everton launched a final attacking incursion down the left, Tim Cahill shaking off pressure from Dunne to put in an inviting centre.
A touch off Yakubu thwarted Collins' hopes of clearing, and when the ball spun loose to Bilyaletdinov, the midfielder gleefully side-footed past Friedel for his second Premier League goal in as many games.
Martin O'Neill responded by introducing Carew as a half-time replacement for the injured James Milner, and the Norway international's impact was instant.
Within a minute of the restart, Warnock's probing cross found Agbonlahor in space at the back post, and although Howard got a glove to the striker's stinging low drive, Carew was on hand to turn home the loose ball.
Draw was a fair result - O'Neill
With Villa growing in authority and the match on a knife-edge, Moyes withdrew Fellaini in favour of top-scorer Louis Saha.
The Frenchman fired wide from range shortly after Warnock had denied Cahill with a fine aerial challenge, but a late flurry of drama saw both teams reduced to ten men.
Bilyaletdinov was given his marching orders for a two-footed challenge on Stilian Petrov before Cuellar, who had earlier entered Lee Probert's book for a foul on Baines, received a second yellow card for upending Yakubu.
Everton manager David Moyes:
"I don't think either goalkeeper had a great deal of saves to make.
"The teams are well matched, but we are not playing with a great deal of confidence. We are a little bit out of shape at the moment.
"I thought we nullified Aston Villa quite well but I didn't think we were able to play our game because at this moment in time, without one or two players who might change things for us, it makes our set-up slightly different.
"I wanted us to keep a clean sheet more than anything today. I wanted us to not concede a goal and I thought if we could do that we could win the game."
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"I think we coped reasonably well in the first half and so to concede in first-half stoppage time was particularly galling.
"We got back into it in the second half, and for a while I thought we might well go on to win it, but on reflection I think a draw is a fair result.
"It has never ever been an easy place to come, despite the fact that Everton are trying to eke out a victory at the moment - which they will get.
"They are as resilient as they come so I am pleased we got something out of the game."
90:00+5:04 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+2:36 Foul by Johnny Heitinga on Nigel Reo-Coker, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
90:00+2:14 Booking John Carew goes into the referee's book for dissent.
90:00+1:59 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Johnny Heitinga. Leighton Baines restarts play with the free
90:00+1:25 Leighton Baines crosses the ball in from the free kick, Stephen Warnock manages to make a clearance.
90:00+0:08 Substitution Joao Alves Jo replaces Ayegbeni Yakubu.
90:00+0:08 Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Nigel Reo-Coker coming on for Stiliyan Petrov.
89:16 Sent off Carlos Cuellar is shown a red card.
89:08 Ayegbeni Yakubu fouled by Carlos Cuellar, the ref awards a free kick.
86:37 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Stephen Warnock, Johnny Heitinga manages to make a clearance.
86:37 Sent off The referee sends off Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for professional foul.
86:28 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov.
85:18 The official flags Louis Saha offside. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
85:04 Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Leighton Baines. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov takes the free kick.
84:33 Louis Saha produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
80:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emile Heskey on Johnny Heitinga. Free kick taken by Lucas Neill.
79:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Johnny Heitinga on Emile Heskey. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
78:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu by Richard Dunne. Free kick crossed by Leighton Baines, clearance
by Richard Dunne.
78:24 John Carew takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
78:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lucas Neill on Ashley Young. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.
76:20 Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Louis Saha goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
75:25 John Carew challenges Johnny Heitinga unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.
73:42 Jack Rodwell takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.
71:21 Substitution Marouane Fellaini leaves the field to be replaced by Louis Saha.
66:20 Stephen Warnock has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Tim Howard makes a save.
65:11 The referee gives a free kick against Ashley Young for handball. Johnny Heitinga restarts play with the free kick.
63:57 Tim Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Stiliyan Petrov. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Young from
left wing, clearance by Lucas Neill.
62:41 Unfair challenge on Stephen Warnock by Tim Cahill results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
61:39 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stephen Warnock, Close range header by Gabriel Agbonlahor goes wide of the left-hand
61:28 Stiliyan Petrov takes a shot. Blocked by Tim Cahill.
60:52 Inswinging corner taken by Stephen Warnock from the right by-line.
60:45 Handball by Ayegbeni Yakubu. Free kick taken by James Collins.
58:58 Foul by Steve Sidwell on Marouane Fellaini, free kick awarded. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov takes the direct free kick.
57:37 Carlos Cuellar concedes a free kick for a foul on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Diniyar
Bilyaletdinov from left wing, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Jack Rodwell. Free kick taken
by James Collins.
52:15 Booking Tim Cahill is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
52:06 Tim Cahill challenges Ashley Young unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Warnock takes the direct free kick.
49:23 Foul by Richard Dunne on Marouane Fellaini, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Lucas Neill.
47:50 John Carew is caught offside. Joseph Yobo takes the indirect free kick.
46:29 Assist on the goal came from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
46:29 GOAL - John Carew:Everton 1 - 1 Aston Villa John Carew fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Everton 1-1 Aston Villa.
46:05 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:01 Substitution James Milner goes off and John Carew comes on.
45:00+2:30 The match has reached half-time.
45:00+0:47 Assist on the goal came from Ayegbeni Yakubu.
45:00+0:47 GOAL - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov:Everton 1 - 0 Aston Villa Goal scored by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Everton 1-0 Aston
43:04 Tim Cahill takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Warnock.
39:15 Foul by Tim Cahill on Steve Sidwell, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
37:17 Effort from outside the penalty box by Emile Heskey goes wide right of the target.
33:41 Stephen Warnock has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
33:25 Shot by Ashley Young. Sylvain Distin gets a block in.
30:57 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.
30:57 Booking Carlos Cuellar is given a yellow card.
30:54 Foul by Carlos Cuellar on Leighton Baines, free kick awarded.
29:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey by Johnny Heitinga. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley
Young from left channel, Marouane Fellaini manages to make a clearance.
28:45 Headed effort from deep inside the area by Ayegbeni Yakubu misses to the left of the goal.
27:19 Corner taken left-footed by Stephen Warnock from the right by-line to the near post, Jack Rodwell makes a clearance.
26:04 Sylvain Distin concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Shot on goal comes in from James Milner from the free
23:38 Booking Stephen Warnock shown a yellow card.
23:15 Stephen Warnock gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.
22:58 James Collins takes a shot. Blocked by James Milner.
22:10 Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Jack Rodwell.
21:17 Stephen Warnock fouled by Johnny Heitinga, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
20:37 Headed effort from deep inside the area by Emile Heskey misses to the left of the goal.
19:31 Joseph Yobo challenges Stiliyan Petrov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Richard Dunne takes the direct free kick.
19:03 Outswinging corner taken by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
18:37 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov fouled by Carlos Cuellar, the ref awards a free kick. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov crosses the ball in from
the free kick, Emile Heskey manages to make a clearance.
17:14 Foul by James Milner on Leighton Baines, free kick awarded. Shot comes in from Leighton Baines from the free kick.
15:30 Foul by Johnny Heitinga on Emile Heskey, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Ashley Young.
15:02 Ayegbeni Yakubu produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
14:37 Unfair challenge on Johnny Heitinga by Gabriel Agbonlahor results in a free kick. Lucas Neill takes the direct free kick.
14:25 Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
8:47 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.
7:20 Outswinging corner taken by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov from the left by-line played to the near post.
5:25 Headed effort from inside the area by Steve Sidwell misses to the left of the target.
3:28 Foul by James Collins on Ayegbeni Yakubu, free kick awarded. Leighton Baines restarts play with the free kick.
2:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steve Sidwell by Marouane Fellaini. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
0:57 Unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Steve Sidwell results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ayegbeni Yakubu.
0:23 Jack Rodwell challenges Stiliyan Petrov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by James Collins.
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
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