Sunderland survived Lee Cattermole's second-half dismissal to nick a 0-0 draw from Wolverhampton Wanderers and stunt the runaway Championship leader's winning run.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side had won its previous six to go four points clear at the top, but Cardiff City can cut that gap back to two when it hosts Reading on Tuesday (AEDT) thanks to a battling performance from Chris Coleman's men.
Elsewhere, Nigel Adkins began his Hull City career with a roller-coaster 3-2 win over Brentford and Derby County continued Barnsley's miserable run to clamber above Aston Villa and Sheffield United in the top six.
Sunderland's flickering revival under former Wales boss Coleman continues, but this was a point earned the hard way.
Wolves had 23 shots to just one from their opponents, but the leaders were guilty of mass profligacy, only making Robbin Ruiter work with four of them.
Cattermole was sent off after collecting two booking inside 54 seconds of each other, but the Black Cats clung on to move within a point of safety.
Derby battered Barnsley 3-0, Tom Lawrence, Matej Vydra and Andreas Weimann on the scoresheet, as the Tykes fell to a fifth straight defeat and Gary Rowett's men moved above Sheffield United, beaten by Bristol City, and Aston Villa, which drew 0-0 at home to Millwall.
There has been little to celebrate at KCOM Stadium this season and Leonid Slutsky's departure last week crowned a listless few months at Hull City.
David Meyler's own goal suggested that Adkins's arrival might fail to lift the gloom, but the Tigers fought back valiantly.
A rocket from Kamil Grosicki, Sebastian Larsson's free-kick and Jackson Irvine's first City goal turned the game on its head, though nerves were tested by John Egan's late strike.
After guiding his side to a first win in eight, Adkins said: "I love it. I've not been in a dugout for 18 months and the players have done excellent, showing great character and team spirit."
The Tigers move to 18th in the table, above Barnsley and Queens Park Rangers, after Ian Holloway's men lost 3-1 to a Leeds United side inspired by Kemar Roofe's hat-trick.
Victory for Leeds left it part of a tightly bunched cabal of clubs chasing the top six.
Leeds is seventh, a point clear of Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town, which is now on level points after the Tractor Boys lost 2-0 at the Riverside.
Preston North End join that pair on 32 points after beating rock-bottom Burton Albion 2-0.
Fulham and Nottingham Forest aren't far behind after beating Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers respectively, the pair moving above Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls were beaten 3-1 at Norwich City despite taking the lead, goals from James Maddison, Timm Klose and a late Nelson Oliveira penalty turning the game around.