A controversial penalty decision by referee Howard Webb gifted Leighton Baines the chance to rescue a point for Everton at Sunderland.
The visitors dominated early on but Sunderland scored when Jack Colback's shot deflected in off Sylvain Distin.
Everton levelled when Leon Osman was awarded a penalty after falling while mis-kicking then Baines converted.
Distin missed an excellent late chance for Everton as he blazed over from the edge of the six-yard box.
Webb's shock decision to award the penalty early in the second half was the major talking point.
Osman dribbled into the area but then mis-kicked and went to ground.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sunderland have won none of their last 14 games against Everton in all competitions, a run of three draws and 11 defeats.
Martin O'Neill has already earned more points as Sunderland manager (seven) in four games than the team had picked up in their previous nine Premier League games (six).
Sunderland's Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole appeared to make no contact with him, but Webb pointed to the spot and Everton took the chance to level the scores.
Baines deserved the goal after an impressive display, during which he teased Sunderland with a series of fine crosses.
Just five minutes later, Webb had another big decision to make as Everton midfielder Royston Drenthe appeared to be brought down by Craig Gardner on the edge of the area, but this time no foul was given.
Sunderland had arrived in confident mood after securing two last-gasp wins in three games under new manager Martin O'Neill, and were looking to draw level on points with Everton, who started the afternoon in 11th place.
O'Neill unhappy with Everton penalty
But they should have been satisfied with a point, despite the controversial nature of the equaliser, after they had to reshape their defence as first Titus Bramble and then Phil Bardsley suffered injuries.
The visitors had the better of the chances and will be frustrated that their familiar problem of failing to turn pressure into goals resurfaced once again.
Tim Cahill, back in the side after being dropped in midweek, has an impressive scoring record against Sunderland.
But the Australian is in the middle of a goal drought and he first saw Kieran Westwood save from eight yards, before heading wide soon afterwards.
“It was great to get my first goal for the club. It's been a fresh start under Martin O'Neill. He's given players a burst of life”
Jack ColbackSunderland goal scorer
Everton were dominant and had an even better chance when Drenthe's corner picked out the unmarked Louis Saha, but his close-range header was poor and went wide.
Substitute Colback came on for Bramble in an unfamilar role on the left of midfield but just five minutes later he was celebrating a goal that came against the run of play.
Stephane Sessegnon charged into the 18-yard area and shifted the ball to Colback, who fired in an angled shot which went in after striking the diving Distin.
Everton kept battling away before the interval and Osman curled over from just inside the 18-yard box before Drenthe drove wide from long range.
David Moyes's team could consider themselves unlucky to be behind but then came their huge slice of fortune, with Baines taking full advantage as he rifled the penalty into the top corner.
It was not a penalty, admits Moyes
Webb was soon faced with a second big decision over an Everton penalty claim as Gardner and Drenthe tangled, but this time he ruled in favour of the hosts.
After that there were few clear-cut chances in unhelpful, windy conditions, although Distin spurned a late opportunity to earn victory for Everton.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill:
"I was obviously unhappy with the penalty. The players that were heavily involved with it were more upset.
"Howard must have thought there was contact there but there was clearly no contact. It's disappointing because it has a major bearing on the game.
"I saw him after the game and he was very gracious. He thought our player had clipped their player.
"I thought we were tentative at the start but we gradually got into the game and became an attacking force."
Everton manager David Moyes:
"We played really well for 25, 30 minutes - we had the momentum and chances. Leighton Baines put in some world-class crosses. Any centre-forward worth their salt would be begging to get on the end of them.
"Sunderland's goal was a bit lucky. It's happened a few times this season, not killing teams off when we had the chance.
"It's definitely not a penalty kick [that we were awarded]. It's a poor decision by the referee. It looked to me from the dug-out that Leon had been caught, but I've looked at it on the replays and the referee's made a big mistake.
"This has been the toughest season since I've joined the club."
Leon Osman takes a shot. Blocked by John O'Shea. Outswinging corner taken by Leighton Baines.
Kieran Richardson takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Sylvain Distin.
A cross is delivered by Stephane Sessegnon, Sylvain Distin manages to make a clearance.
Handball by Phil Neville. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
Tony Hibbert concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicklas Bendtner. Wes Brown takes the direct free kick.
Substitution James McFadden is brought on as a substitute for Tim Cahill.
Effort from 25 yards by Lee Cattermole. Blocked by Johnny Heitinga.
The ball is sent over by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Phil Jagielka.
Foul by Tim Cahill on James McClean, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Tony Hibbert.
Substitution Louis Saha leaves the field to be replaced by Apostolos Vellios.
James McClean has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
Substitution David Vaughan goes off and James McClean comes on.
Magaye Gueye crosses the ball, blocked by Craig Gardner.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Sylvain Distin gets a block in. Corner taken by Kieran Richardson from the right by-line.
Sebastian Larsson fouled by Magaye Gueye, the ref awards a free kick. David Vaughan takes the free kick.
Free kick taken by Sylvain Distin.
Substitution Magaye Gueye is brought on as a substitute for Royston Drenthe.
The official flags Nicklas Bendtner offside.
Kieran Richardson delivers the ball, Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot.
John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
Booking Booking for Johnny Heitinga for unsporting behaviour.
Johnny Heitinga gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Vaughan.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieran Richardson by Leon Osman. Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Jack Colback delivers the ball, save by Tim Howard.
Royston Drenthe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Free kick crossed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Sylvain Distin.
Jack Colback fouled by Tony Hibbert, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Tim Howard.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leighton Baines by Sebastian Larsson. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Nicklas Bendtner. Sylvain Distin restarts play with the free kick.
Headed effort from inside the area by Leon Osman misses to the right of the goal.
Stephane Sessegnon takes the indirect free kick.
David Vaughan takes a shot. Blocked by Johnny Heitinga.
Craig Gardner challenges Royston Drenthe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Leighton Baines takes the free kick.
Sebastian Larsson sends in a cross, Tim Howard makes a save.
Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Louis Saha makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Louis Saha.
Inswinging corner taken by Kieran Richardson, save by Tim Howard.
The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Leighton Baines.
Long distance effort from Tim Cahill misses to the left of the goal.
Stephane Sessegnon is adjudged to have handled the ball. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.
Assist on the goal came from Leon Osman.
50:14 Goal scored
Goal! - Leighton Baines - Sunderland 1 - 1 Everton Penalty taken left-footed by Leighton Baines and scored. Sunderland 1-1 Everton.
Leon Osman fouled by Lee Cattermole, the ref awards a Penalty.
Phil Neville concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicklas Bendtner. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, Tim Cahill makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Royston Drenthe on Jack Colback. Indirect free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
The referee gets the second half started.
Substitution Craig Gardner is brought on as a substitute for Phillip Bardsley.
45:00 +1:19 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.
A cross is delivered by Leighton Baines, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicklas Bendtner by Phil Jagielka. Kieran Richardson produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Nicklas Bendtner, clearance by Phil Jagielka.
Phil Jagielka fouled by Nicklas Bendtner, the ref awards a free kick. Phil Jagielka takes the indirect free kick.
Unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Johnny Heitinga results in a free kick. Shot comes in from Sebastian Larsson from the free kick.
Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Leon Osman gets a block in.
Royston Drenthe takes a shot. Kieran Richardson gets a block in. Short corner taken by Royston Drenthe from the right by-line. Corner taken by Leon Osman from the left by-line, Keiren Westwood makes a comfortable save. The assistant referee signals for offside against Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick taken by Leon Osman. A cross is delivered by Leon Osman, clearance made by John O'Shea. Corner taken by Leighton Baines from the left by-line.
Jack Colback challenges Royston Drenthe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Tony Hibbert.
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Vaughan on Tim Cahill. The ball is swung over by Leighton Baines, Shot on goal by Leon Osman from just inside the area goes over the target.
Handball by Tim Cahill. Wes Brown takes the indirect free kick.
Stephane Sessegnon provided the assist for the goal.
25:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Jack Colback - Sunderland 1 - 0 Everton Jack Colback finds the back of the net with a goal from just inside the area high into the middle of the goal. Sunderland 1-0 Everton.
Foul by Phil Neville on Sebastian Larsson, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.
Louis Saha is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Leighton Baines produces a cross, clearance by Wes Brown.
Tim Howard takes the free kick.
Substitution Jack Colback is brought on as a substitute for Titus Bramble.
The offside flag is raised against Stephane Sessegnon.
Nicklas Bendtner has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
Nicklas Bendtner has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Tony Hibbert gets a block in.
Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball, clearance by Phil Jagielka.
Unfair challenge on Lee Cattermole by Johnny Heitinga results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from right channel, Sylvain Distin manages to make a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Royston Drenthe from the right by-line, Close range header by Louis Saha goes wide of the left-hand post.
Tony Hibbert delivers the ball, Wes Brown manages to make a clearance.
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Leighton Baines from the left by-line. Tim Cahill has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
The ball is crossed by Leighton Baines, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
Titus Bramble takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.
David Vaughan fouled by Phil Neville, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Sebastian Larsson.
Johnny Heitinga takes a shot from 25 yards. Kieran Richardson gets a block in.
Centre by Phillip Bardsley, save made by Tim Howard.
Tim Cahill takes a shot. Save made by Keiren Westwood.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Nicklas Bendtner. Free kick taken by Phil Neville.
The official flags Tim Cahill offside. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
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