The Reds went ahead in just the 5th minute when Dutch international Dirk Kuyt scored in a controversial incident where Sunderland defender Michael Turned was awarded a free-kick which he tapped back assuming goalkeeper Simon Mignolet would take.
But referee Stuart Attwell allowed play to go on and Kuyt was able to give his side the lead.
Black Cats striker Darren Bent levelled from the penalty spot in the 25th minute before putting his side ahead three minutes after the break with a header.
But enter Gerrard who was able to nod home from the near post after a swinging Fernando Torres cross to force a draw for his side.
Liverpool: 2 (Dirk Kuyt 5’, Steven Gerrard 64’)
Sunderland: 2 (Darren Bent (p) 25’, 48’)
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Yellow cards: LIV - Fernando Torres 59’, Dirk Kuyt 60’, Steven Gerrard 75’
SU - Simon Mignolet 90’
Subs - Brad Jones (gk), Maxi Rodriguez, Daniel Agger (28’), Sotirios Kyrgiakos, David Ngog (62’), Lucas, Milan Jovanovic
Simon Mignolet (gk), Titus Bramble, Michael Turner, Phillip Bardsley, Nedum Onuoha, Lee Cattermole, Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque (Riveros 89’), Ahmed Al Muhammadi, Danny Welbeck (Gyan 82’), Darren Bent (Zenden 90’)
Subs - Craig Gordon (gk), Andy Reid, Boudewijn Zenden (90’), Asamoah Gyan (82’), Cristian Riveros (89’), Jack Colback, Paulo da Silva