Substitute Frank Lampard headed a dramatic winner as Manchester City defeated Sunderland to go level on points with leaders Chelsea.
A sublime 22-yard strike by Yaya Toure and Stevan Jovetic’s clever close-range finish put City firmly in control.
But the hosts conceded a two-goal lead for the second game in a row as Jack Rodwell’s header and Adam Johnson’s penalty levelled the scores.
Lampard secured victory with a well-placed header from Gael Clichy’s cross.
The former Chelsea player, available after City extended his contract until the end of the season from New York City, could have had a hat-trick in the 20 minutes he was on the pitch as City finished strongly.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side dominated the early exchanges but ended the first half goalless and frustrated after some disciplined Sunderland defending.
The Black Cats were content to sit back and soak up City pressure, yet for all their dominance, the hosts were unable to make it count.
Costel Pantilimon was forced into just two serious saves before the interval on his return to the club he left last summer after only seven Premier League starts in three years.
The Romanian, who had more touches than any other Sunderland player in the opening 45 minutes, beat away David Silva’s 20-yard strike in the 31st minute before keeping out Toure’s long-range attempt seven minutes later.
At the other end, Willy Caballero, starting in place of the rested Joe Hart, enjoyed a quiet return to action until producing a fine save to keep out Sebastian Larsson’s curling 41st minute free-kick.
It required something spectacular for City to make the breakthrough, Toure’s sublime strike from just outside the area giving Pantilimon no chance.
Nine minutes later it was 2-0, Jovetic marking his return to the side with a clever flick from Clichy’s ball into the Sunderland area.