Describing Arsenal's solitary effort as a 'fluke' is not an adequate enough description of the goal.
Sunderland began the match brilliantly and prevented the Gunners from getting into their fluent groove by closing their opponents down at every opportunity.
But it was the closing down by Arsenal that contributed to the first goal, when the bubbly Fabregas took a chance, ran towards Ferdinand and stuck out a hopeful foot before watching his block travel 40 yards over the stranded Simon Mignolet and into the net.
Having made the major contribution, the Spain World Cup winner was brought off as a precautionary measure after appearing to struggle with his hamstring.
Draw feels like a win - Bruce
The goal should have raised Arsenal's game, but much to manager Arsene Wenger's consternation on the sidelines it was Sunderland who continued to push his team back.
And they should have gone into the break 2-1 up, with Nedum Onuoha heading over from six yards and Cristian Riveros failing to make a decent connection with Elmohamady's lovely delivery from the right.
Arsenal began the second half better than they started the second, with Russian Andrey Arshavin firing over from Marouane Chamakh's low ball before the Moroccan himself saw his effort smothered by Mignolet.
Wenger surprised by Arsenal penalty taker
With Arsenal slowly beginning to take control of the match they were reduced to 10 men when Song was shown a second yellow for blocking Steed Malbranque.
Time was running out for Sunderland to take advantage of their new situation. When Arsenal won a penalty it seemed as if Bruce's men were going to leave their home ground having suffered only their second home defeat in 13 matches.
But the gods showed the Black Cats another ray of light when Rosicky inexplicably blazed over the bar.
With seconds remaining, Sunderland knocked on the door once when Clichy had to clear his team-mate Denilson's header off the Arsenal goalline before they finally broke the door down when this time Clichy cleared straight to Bent who fired high into the goal.
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