Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said striker Diego Costa's fifth booking of the season was a result of "clever" defending by Sunderland.
The Premier League leaders failed to score for the first time this season as they drew 0-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Costa was booked after catching Wes Brown in the face as the pair jumped for the ball and is suspended for Wednesday's match against Tottenham.
"Brown is very experienced and he used his body," said Mourinho.
"They can frustrate a striker and can also be clever enough to get cards. But no problem. It's a yellow card. He doesn't play against Tottenham."
|Paul Ince on BBC Match of the Day|
|"I love Diego Costa. He's an old fashioned centre forward, he gets on people's nerves. He has a little lash at John O'Shea by the letter of the law, and what we saw at Hull against Tottenham he should be off, but credit to O'Shea for not making too much of it."|
Chelsea are unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions and are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
However, with nearest rivals Southampton and Manchester City meeting on Sunday, Mourinho's side will have their advantage at the top cut.
"It's a pity. We want to win every match but we have to lose some points," said the Chelsea boss.
"Only one team tried to win the game but credit to Sunderland. They were very defensive, but defending a lot and well is not a crime, it is a quality - and they did it well.
"We are doing very well still and it is a point in a very difficult stadium."
Loic Remy or Didier Drogba could replace Costa, who has scored 11 times this season, against Spurs.
"We don't cry about injured players or about suspended players," Mourinho said.
"If he's suspended, he's suspended. He can rest, he can be fresh against Newcastle. Against Tottenham, Drogba and Remy will have their opportunity to start the game. No problem, let's go."