Liverpool succumbed to a frustrating draw and collected just a point after Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe scored two penalties as the Black Cats twice came from behind against the second-placed Reds.
The visitors looked to be in control for the majority of the encounter and a victory looked on the cards when Daniel Sturridge handed the Anfield outfit the lead at the Stadium of Light when he nudged home a header following Dejan Lovren’s shot.
But Sunderland levelled just six minutes later when former England hitman Defoe scored from the penalty spot after Ragnar Klavan’s trip on Didier Ndong.
Livewire Sadio Mane prodded home a close-range effort to restore the lead for Jurgen Klopp’s men but, once more, David Moyes’ men fought back.
It was Mane who gave the home side the chance to get back to level pegging when he handled in the box and again, Defoe slotted home from 12 yards.
After the game, Klopp said he was finding it difficult to accept that the Reds had to come away from the North East with just a point rather than all three available.
“It is really hard for me to accept, but I am professional so I have to. Obviously, the title race is not finally done. Maybe I look like not the best loser in the world, I have no problem with this – two penalties feels not good.”
“I usually like to talk about football, but it’s difficult. I know what I can expect when I say to the players ‘that was not enough’ or ‘that was enough’ but if I said ‘that was not enough’ I have no idea if they could have done more. That’s my lack of experience.”
Liverpool take a break from league action this weekend when they host Plymouth Argyle at Anfield in the FA Cup on Sunday.