Match ends, Sunderland 2, Liverpool 2.
Jermain Defoe scored two penalties as Sunderland twice came from behind to earn a point against second-placed Liverpool.
The Reds took a deserved lead when Daniel Sturridge flicked in a header after Dejan Lovren's mishit shot.
Sunderland equalised six minutes later as Defoe scored from the spot following Ragnar Klavan's trip on Didier Ndong, before Sadio Mane put the visitors back ahead with a close-range finish.
However, Mane then handled in his own 18-yard box and Defoe converted the penalty to snatch an unlikely point.
- Relive Sunderland's draw against Liverpool as it happened
- Reaction and updates from the other Premier League matches
- I gave players the chance to miss Black Cats match - Klopp
Liverpool's missed opportunity
The result leaves Liverpool five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who play their game in hand on Wednesday at Tottenham (20:00 GMT kick-off).
However, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will surely see it as two points dropped after his side led twice, had 71% of the possession and had 15 shots on target.
Only an inspired performance from Black Cats keeper Vito Mannone denied Liverpool further goals, before Mane, playing his last game before representing Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, needlessly stuck out an arm to block Seb Larsson's free-kick, costing his side dearly.
To make things worse for Liverpool, Sturridge, who scored only his second Premier League goal of the season, limped off late on with an ankle injury after he clashed with Papy Djilobodji.
The England international was only making his fifth league start of the campaign, has also suffered calf and hip injuries this season and was limping badly at the final whistle.
Reds club captain Jordan Henderson missed the game at the Stadium of Light with a heel injury and Klopp could be without three influential players for the trip to Manchester United in 13 days' time.
In his post-match news conference Klopp said he did not believe Sturridge's injury was a serious one. "He got a knock on his right ankle, I don't think it's too bad," said the German.
Sunderland respond well after 'dire' display
Sunderland boss David Moyes described his side's performance in their 4-1 loss at Burnley on Saturday as "dire" and had demanded better.
He will surely have been delighted with the response. His team battled hard, gave everything, defended deep in numbers and showed their fighting spirit when Liverpool looked like they might run away with the match.
Sunderland remain in the bottom three, but Moyes will be encouraged by the point as the Black Cats look to extend their 10-year Premier League stay.
However, like Klopp, Moyes faces a battle to juggle his squad. Sunderland's lengthy injury list includes first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender Lamine Kone, midfielders Lee Cattermole and Steven Pienaar and strikers Duncan Watmore and Victor Anichebe.
Midfielders Didier Ndong (Gabon) and Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) are also set to play at the Africa Cup of Nations in January to provide further problems for Moyes.
Man of the match - Vito Mannone (Sunderland)
Stats - Rodwell's unwanted record continues
- Liverpool have now lost just one of their past 18 Premier League games (won 12).
- Moyes has only one victory from his past 17 Premier League games as a manager against Liverpool (10 defeats).
- Jack Rodwell made his 34th start for Sunderland but is yet to be on the winning side (16 draws and 18 losses); extending the Premier League record.
- Defoe is the fourth player to score 10 or more goals in 10 different Premier League seasons, along with Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.
- Sunderland are the first team to score two penalties in a Premier League game against Liverpool since West Brom in April 2011.
- Sturridge has scored in consecutive Premier League games after a run of 12 appearances without a goal.
- Mane has had a hand in five goals in his past seven Premier League appearances (three goals, two assists).
What they said
Sunderland manager Moyes said: "I expect them to get results, but I'm really pleased after the few days we've had. We didn't play well (against Burnley) and what they have done is show how well they can do.
"I thought we did quite well, matched Liverpool's energy for long periods of the game and deserved a draw. We had big chances as well.
"I never thought we were out of it. The important thing was to not concede a third goal. In the end we got a deserved penalty.
"Towards the end of the season we are going to have to pick up a lot of results. Today was a tough draw and we have to make sure we win at home - that's key."
Liverpool boss Klopp said: "I am not able to explain it because I don't know exactly what I saw. My team were fighting but I wasn't sure if they could do it.
"We can play better but I'm not sure if you can play better with that (two-day) break."
On Sunderland's second penalty, the German added: "There was no foul before the free-kick for the second penalty. You need a little bit of luck, but Sunderland worked hard too and maybe they deserved it."
Both sides are next in action in the third round of the FA Cup. Sunderland entertain fellow Premier League side Burnley on Saturday (15:00), one week after losing 4-1 to the Clarets in an away league match.
Liverpool take on League Two high-flyers Plymouth Argyle on 8 January (13:30), before playing at Southampton on 11 January in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final (19:45).
Sunderland next play in the Premier League on 14 January with a home game against Stoke (15:00), with Liverpool away at Manchester United at 16:00 the following day.
- 3van Aanholt
- 8RodwellBooked at 13minsSubstituted forManquilloat 65'minutes
- 7LarssonBooked at 51mins
- 44JanuzajSubstituted forKhazriat 79'minutes
- 12Simões Domingues
- 7MilnerBooked at 30minsSubstituted forMorenoat 45'minutes
- 20LallanaBooked at 83mins
- 5WijnaldumSubstituted forOrigiat 73'minutes
- 19ManéBooked at 83mins
- 15SturridgeSubstituted forLeivaat 80'minutes
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 2, Liverpool 2.
Offside, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva tries a through ball, but Divock Origi is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Donald Love.
Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland) because of an injury.
Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland).
Attempt saved. Ragnar Klavan (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.
Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Didier Ndong (Sunderland).
Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Sadio Mané.
Goal! Sunderland 2, Liverpool 2. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Penalty conceded by Sadio Mané (Liverpool) with a hand ball in the penalty area.