Harry Kane's own goal earned Sunderland an unlikely 2-2 draw as Tottenham Hotspur somehow failed to grab the points.
It seemed the visitors would get back to winning ways when Christian Eriksen put them ahead just after half-time, with Adam Johnson having earlier cancelled out Nacer Chadli's strike at the Stadium of Light.
But after Erik Lamela rattled the woodwork, Sunderland earned a share of the spoils when Will Buckley's free-kick hit Kane and flew into the net.
Both sides entered the game having fallen to disappointing defeats prior to the international break.
Spurs lost 3-0 to Liverpool, while Charlie Austin grabbed the only goal as Sunderland were defeated by Queens Park Rangers. And neither were able to get a desired three points this time around, although Gus Poyet will surely have been the happier of the managers.
There was little hangover from the two-week absence as Mauricio Pochettino’s charges flew out of the blocks, Danny Rose forcing a fine save from Vito Mannone after the visitors cut through their opponents with ease.
Any disappointment at that miss was soon extinguished, Chadli continuing his fine start to the season by slotting home in the second minute following a Mannone parry that kept out Emmanuel Adebayor's powerful strike.
Yet Sunderland regrouped and responded immediately when a fine counter-attack ended with Johnson's deflected effort beating Hugo Lloris.
The breathless start continued, with Mannone having to be on high alert to deny Chadli and Adebayor in quick succession.
Things unsurprisingly calmed down, although Spurs still looked a constant threat as Eriksen, who had assisted Adebayor's chance with a sumptuous lob, cleverly found pockets of space.
It was Mousa Dembele who was next to threaten, taking advantage of being afforded too much space when unleashing a vicious left-footed strike from long range that rattled the post.
The second period begin in the same manner as the first, Eriksen putting the north Londoners back in front.
Chadli was again instrumental, sending in a cross that Patrick van Aanholt could only clear into Wes Brown, the ricochet leaving Eriksen with the simplest of finishes.
Much like after the opening goal, Sunderland were suddenly spurred into life, although an end product to their endeavour was severely lacking.
Johnson was still looking dangerous for Poyet's men, however, as he showed when firing a powerful 25-yard effort inches wide.
That was one of the rare moments of excitement for the home support, with the Lilywhites still looking in control amid their back four showing great composure.
Yet they could still not find the goal that would provide more comfort for the visiting faithful, Lamela coming agonisingly close when his curling effort struck the woodwork.
Then came Kane's moment of misfortune as Sunderland drew level against the run of play, and they could even have won it, Buckley turning a glorious chance just wide of the post late on.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "That was the hardest game we have played so far and the best team we've faced. It was a really hard day and a proper point that we worked really hard to get.
"The players kept going and tried. They fought and tackled and came back into the game. I am sure that Mauricio Pochettino is disappointed. But if you stay in the game, you always have a chance."
"The more we talk about the win, the more difficult it will become. I could say that we have lost just one game in five. I just think that this was a really, really good point. If we fight the way we did here, and concentrate the way we did, then we will have a chance to get that win. That is the Premier League."
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "I am very disappointed. We created a lot of chances and I think we deserved to win today but this is football.
"You need to kill the game and we have had the chances to kill the game and if you don't kill the game maybe the opponent will have a chance and today they were lucky."
"I am not worried because the most important thing is to create chances. We just need to be more solid.
"When you concede a first goal like we did after you have scored early, you have to be smarter. It was easy for them to score."
|20 Sep 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|27 Sep 2014||v Swansea (H)|
|04 Oct 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Southampton (A)|
|25 Oct 2014||v Arsenal (H)|
|03 Nov 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|