Match ends, Liverpool 2, Sunderland 2.
Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
Thousands of Liverpool fans walked out of Anfield in protest at ticket prices as struggling Sunderland came from 2-0 behind to secure a crucial point.
Roberto Firmino headed the Reds in front after James Milner's clever cross before the goalscorer turned provider to allow Adam Lallana to tap home.
Fans were pouring out when Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was beaten by Adam Johnson's curling free-kick.
Jermain Defoe completed the comeback after finishing from 10 yards.
Liverpool had striker Daniel Sturridge back on the substitutes bench after a damaged hamstring, but lost defender Dejan Lovren and midfielder Joe Allen to injury.
Liverpool's defensive shortcomings hurt them again
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp missed this game after an operation to remove his appendix.
His side's defending will not have done his health any good whatsoever as the Reds capitulated in the final eight minutes following the walkout by fans.
Mignolet was at fault after being beaten all too easily by substitute Johnson's set-piece before Mamadou Sakho allowed Defoe to turn and score.
It was the same old story for the Reds, who are still without a Premier League home win in 2016.
They are also still hunting a first top-flight clean sheet of the calendar year, having conceded 14 times in the past six games.
Liverpool's top-five hopes vanishing
The Reds drop one place to ninth in the table, their inconsistent form not only testing the patience of fans but also hurting Liverpool's chances of qualifying for Europe.
Klopp's side will earn a place in the third qualifying round of next season's Europa League if they beat Manchester City in the League Cup final on 28 February.
However, their chances of qualifying via a top-five finish are rapidly diminishing.
They are 10 points off a top-four place and five adrift of fifth - having played a game more - after one win in six.
Can Sunderland stay up?
Sunderland remain four points from safety and have now gone 11 Premier League games without a clean sheet, longer than any other side currently.
But their late comeback will give manager Sam Allardyce and his side a huge lift for the remaining 13 games of the campaign.
The Black Cats still have to host Manchester United, Leicester City, Arsenal and Chelsea in addition to facing relegation rivals Newcastle and Norwich away.
However, Sunderland overcame the early loss of striker Duncan Watmore, who hobbled off injured, to claim a point that did not seem likely after Lallana's 70th-minute goal put Liverpool 2-0 in front.
Man of the match - Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
What the managers said
Liverpool first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders:
"In the last 10 minutes we dropped off too much and let them play longer balls.
"We felt that we were in control of the game and you see that one moment changes everything.
"There are still eight to 10 minutes where you have to be calm and play, keep moving the ball into the final third, so when you lose it you can counter-press and stay higher up the pitch."
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce:
"You think your day is over when you are 0-2 down at Anfield. But we fought back with two quality goals and got a point by not giving up.
"It was never say die until the end.
"When we went two down it looked like the fear had left us and we played better with the ball. We created chances and it was the quality of goals that got us a point.
"We won't get goals back like that every game but today it was a precious point for us."
The stats you need to know
- Only Sergio Aguero (7) has scored more Premier League goals in 2016 than Jermain Defoe (6).
- Roberto Firmino has been involved in more goals than any other Liverpool player this season (11, six goals and five assists).
- Firmino has been involved in seven goals in his past five Premier League games for the Reds (five goals, two assists).
- James Milner recorded his third assist in his past five league games. No Premier League player has more in 2016 than him (level with Adam Johnson and Riyad Mahrez).
- Adam Lallana has scored in two of his past three Premier League games, after not scoring in his previous 19 appearances in the competition.
- Sunderland extended their run of scoring in eight consecutive league away games.
- Jermain Defoe has scored six goals in his past six league appearances for Sunderland.
Liverpool are likely to make a number of changes for Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay at West Ham United (19:45 GMT) before visiting bottom club Aston Villa (14:05) in the Premier League on 14 February. Sunderland host Manchester United in the league on 13 February (12:45)
- 6LovrenSubstituted forK Touréat 12'minutes
- 18MorenoBooked at 81mins
- 14HendersonSubstituted forLeivaat 86'minutes
- 24AllenSubstituted forIbeat 45+2'minutes
- 11Roberto Firmino
- 4K Touré
- 2JonesSubstituted forYedlinat 75'minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- 27KirchhoffSubstituted forJohnsonat 66'minutes
- 41WatmoreSubstituted forN'Doyeat 26'minutesBooked at 39mins
- Robert Madley
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Sunderland 2.
Attempt blocked. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.
Attempt missed. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mamadou Sakho.
Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland).
Offside, Liverpool. Adam Lallana tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Sunderland 2. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Wahbi Khazri.
Substitution, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva replaces Jordan Henderson.
Offside, Liverpool. Nathaniel Clyne tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Sunderland 1. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).
Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Lamine Koné.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lamine Koné (Sunderland).
Substitution, Sunderland. DeAndre Yedlin replaces Billy Jones.
Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).
Dame N'Doye (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Offside, Sunderland. John O'Shea tries a through ball, but Jermain Defoe is caught offside.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Sunderland 0. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.
Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Wahbi Khazri.
Substitution, Sunderland. Adam Johnson replaces Jan Kirchhoff.
Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
Hand ball by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Billy Jones.
Attempt blocked. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Milner.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.
Goal! Liverpool 1, Sunderland 0. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.
Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jan Kirchhoff.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Alberto Moreno.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Jordon Ibe.
Attempt missed. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Kolo Touré.
Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland).
Offside, Sunderland. Lamine Koné tries a through ball, but Jermain Defoe is caught offside.