Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admitted his side had enjoyed good fortune as they ground out a 2-1 win over Blackburn.
Rovers went ahead with 21 minutes gone when Gael Givet smashed a long-range shot home after Lee Cattermole had cleared Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner to the edge of the box.
The Black Cats were level within 11 minutes of Givet's opener when Kenwyne Jones out-stripped the Blackburn defence to collect Steed Malbranque's ball over the top and round goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Jones headed home Cattermole's cross nine minutes after the break but Blackburn failed to make the most of a series of openings as Rovers' luck deserted them.
Bruce said: "We just simply couldn't cope with Blackburn in the first half, so we were itching to get them in at half-time and to be level was good for us.
"In the second half, we were much, much better and dealt with the physical capabilities of Blackburn a lot better because in the first half, we simply couldn't cope with it.
"I did talk about fixture congestion - it's ridiculous in this part of the season. They [Blackburn] are fresh as a daisy and you could see that. We rode our luck a little bit, we have to say."