Sunderland started the game impressively with Gomez forcing a corner in the opening minute which Wickham headed wide of the far post.
Everton responded 3 mins later as they cut Sunderland open with a series of one-two’s between Eto’o and Lukaku only for Eto’o to shoot over from inside the box.
Another Sunderland corner on 5 mins created another chance for Wickham but his header looped onto the roof of the net.
The game settled after a frantic start with Everton dominating possession without penetrating through the Sunderland defence with Lukaku, Gibson and Barkley all seeing efforts sail over as Everton were being limited to long range shots.
A controversial moment on 28 mins saw Gomez being brought down on the edge of the box by Jagielka but Sunderland’s penalty appeals were waved away by referee Lee Mason.
And Sunderland were nearly caught at the other end as Everton broke on the counter attack but Lukaku’s header was straight at Pantilimon.
Sunderland were seeing more of the ball as the half wore on and on 31 mins they finally got in behind the Everton defence. Good hold up play from Wickham set Reveillere in behind on the left but his cut back was cleared before Fletcher could pounce.
Another Everton counter attack on 34 mins opened up the Sunderland defence and the Toffee’s would have been in front through Ross Barkley but he was denied by a last ditch block by Liam Bridcutt.
The black cats finished the half well and their best chance of the game came on 36 mins through Gomez. Good pressing from Larsson dispossessed Darren Gibson in the Everton box allowing Gomez to shoot but his effort was well saved by Tim Howard.
Everton could have gone in front on 50 mins after a back pass by Bridcutt was left short allowing Lukaku to bear down on goal but Pantilimon raced out to deny him.
Everton were turning the screw as Sunderland couldn’t find a way out of defence. And Everton were nearly rewarded for their early pressure on 56 mins as the ball broke to Lukaku but his fierce shot was saved onto the post by Pantilimon.
Sunderland broke the deadlock on 67 mins from a superb free-kick. Buckley was brought down by Baines just outside the box allowing Seb Larsson the free-kick opportunity which he exquisitely curled into the corner.
Everton equalised on 76 mins through a Leighton Baines penalty. Coleman was played through and as he was about to shoot he was brought down by Connor Wickham who was lucky not to be sent off as he was the last man.
Sunderland were pressing towards the end with Rodwell having a shot blocked and Buckley’s pull back after a good run down the left just evaded Fletcher as the goal gaped.
The Black Cats were denied a last minute winner as Wes Brown’s header was cleared of the line by James McCarthy.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Vergini, Reveillere, Brown, O'Shea (c), Bridcutt, Larsson, Gomez (Rodwell 80’), Johnson (Buckley 63’), Wickham, Fletcher.
Subs: Mannone, Robson, Rodwell, Mavrias, Buckley, Graham, Altidore
Goals: Larsson 67’
Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka (c), Distin, Barry (Gibson 13’), McCarthy, Barkley (Osman 86’), McGeady (Naismith 70’), Eto’o, Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Hibbert, Gibson, Osman, Besic, Atsu, Naismith.
Goals: Baines (pen 76’)