The Black Cats outplayed the title chasers, and were unfortunate not leave Manchester with all three points. On 55 minutes they went up 3-1 when a lightening quick Sunderland counter attack saw Larsson slide home at the back post to send the away fans into raptures.
Carlos Tevez was sent on in an attempt to restore parity, and the hosts were back in it on 85 minutes when Balotelli cut in and curled one home, before Aleksandr Kolarov levelled with four minutes remaining.
Meanwhile, Manchester United capitalised on City’s second stumble in as many weeks, as they comfortable slipped past Blackburn at Ewood Park on Monday, steaming ahead to what might be an unassailable five point lead on the table, while also ensuring the Rovers remain firmly rooted in the relegation zone.
In typical fashion, United left it until late, opening their account on 81 minutes through Antonio Valencia before substitute Ashley Young added the second five minutes later.
Elsewhere, QPR’s survival hopes were boosted with a priceless win over London rivals Arsenal at Loftus Road.
Samba Diakite’s strike on 66 minutes was the game winner as QPR went level on points with Blackburn and Wigan, who beat Stoke City 1-0 at the DW Stadium.
On Sunday, Liverpool’s horrendous form continued as they lost 2-0 to Newcastle. Former Magpies hitman Andy Carroll’s ninth minute dive summed up Liverpool’s afternoon, the striker rounding Tim Krul and falling to the floor without any contact.
It was new-boy Papis Cisse who terrorised Liverpool, heading in Hatem Ben Arfa’s cross in the first half before tapping in from Demba Ba’s centre after the break.
Pepe Reina was sent off late on after clash with James Perch, who appeared to be headbutted by the keeper. Although there was minimal contact, the intention was clear enough.
Elsewhere Tottenham got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Swansea City while Chelsea let a two-goal lead slip before winning 4-2 against Aston Villa.
In The Phuket News Tipping Competition, ‘bazerb’ fended off a late charge from ‘fazza’ to take out the prize for the month of March, earning himself a B3,000 voucher to be spent at the Peppers Bar & Restaurant, Phuket’s premier sports bar. The overall competition is also getting closer,
with 24 points separating ‘gafferworld’ and ‘MRB’. The winner will receive a return flight to the UK, courtesy of Albatross Lufthansa City Center.