Leicester Tigers fought back from a 15-point deficit to take a 32-30 bonus-point victory over Sale Sharks, with Julian Salvi scoring the winning try two minutes from time.
Tigers trailed 30-15 five minutes into the second half at the AJ Bell Stadium after Sam Tuitupou's opportunist try gave Sale their bonus-point.
But Tigers, who scored two first-half tries through Seremaia Bai, his first for the club, and Mathew Tait, his first of the season, staged a stunning fightback to score 17 unanswered points and record their victory.
Miles Benjamin's fourth try of the campaign, converted from wide on the left by Freddie Burns, sparked the comeback before Owen Williams' penalty brought Leicester to within a score.
And it was left to Salvi at the death to finish off excellent lineout and driving work by the pack, coolly converted by Williams, to clinch the win in front of 11,247 spectators, a record crowd for a Sale home game.
Tigers shuffled their squad for the Aviva Premiership clash. Burns came in at fly-half and Tommy Bell at full-back. Tait moved to the wing with Benjamin coming on to the opposite flank. Bai and Vereniki Goneva formed the centre partnership.
Sebastian de Chaves, Jamie Gibson, Michele Rizzo and Leonardo Ghiraldini all came into the pack, and there was a place on the bench for the first time for USA international Greg Peterson.
Sale were the first to show, picking up loose ball on halfway to launch an attack down the left that took them deep into the Leicester 22. The attack moved to the opposite flank where Marc Jones was stopped just short of the line but Custer picked up at the ruck and dived over at the right corner to give Sale a 5-0 lead. It set the tone for a thrilling encounter.
Jordan Crane made 40m after taking a quick penalty on his own 22 to take Tigers into the Sale half. There the hosts failed to release in the tackle but Burns was unable to land the penalty from distance.
Goneva was the next to find a gap in the Sale defence and, with Benjamin in support, Tigers had the hosts under pressure in their own 22. Tigers retained possession and Dan Cole almost burrowing over under the posts before Bai cut a line to the right-hand corner for his first Tigers try. Unconverted, the try drew Tigers level after 12 minutes.
It was end-to-end stuff and Sale almost scored a second try with the next attack. The initial break by Mike Haley was well stopped by Burns but when Haley rejoined the attack to collect the offload he looked certain to score. However, Gibson's tackle forced the knock-on as the full-back tried to touch down, which was confirmed by television match official David Grashoff.
However, Tigers were unable to clear their lines and Danny Cipriani landed an 18th-minute penalty to give Sale the lead again.
Tigers almost scored their second 13 minutes before the break. With the advantage of a penalty Goneva's inside pass found Tait on an angled run off the left wing. He was stopped just short of the line and his offload failed to find Leicester hands.
Play came back for the penalty and Tigers went for the corner. Crane set up the drive, Ben Youngs darted down the narrow side and found Tait to dive in at the corner for his first try of the season. Referee Tim Wigglesworth was given confirmation by his TMO before awarding the score, which was converted by Burns to give Tigers a 12-8 lead.
It was a short-lived lead, Sale replying with their second try. Johnny Leota sucked in Tait on the Sale right, fed Will Addison on the outside, and the winger evaded Gibson's tap-tackle to score behind the posts. Cipriani converted to give Sale a 15-12 lead.
Eifion Lewis Roberts' high tackle on Julian Salvi was punished with a three-pointer by Burns to draw Tigers level seven minutes before the break.
Tigers were then called on to defend a 5m lineout, holding up the initial drive before Sale were pinged for crossing in midfield.
However, Tigers were pinged themselves at a breakdown on their 10m line and Cipriani kicked the penalty to give Sale an 18-15 lead. Worse was to come for the Tigers before half-time.
Addison collected his own chip to spark a counterattack from the Sale 22, the move ending with Benjamin's last-gasp tackle on Lewis Roberts 5m from the line where Gibson was pinged for killing the ball and received a yellow card.
Sale maintained the pressure at the lineout and, Nathan Hines eventually drove down the side of a ruck to score under a pile of bodies. Cipriani's conversion gave Sale a 25-15 lead at the break.
There were no changes at half-time, as Tigers faced the first nine minutes of the second period with 14 men after Gibson's yellow card.
And Sale extended their lead with a fourth try five minutes after the restart. Tuitupou spotted a gap at a ruck on the Leicester 22 and darted down the narrow side to score his side's bonus-point try. It gave Sale a 30-15 lead.
Gibson returned after his spell in the bin alongside replacements Tom Youngs, Fraser Balmain and Marcos Ayerza. Thompstone then replaced Bell as Tigers rejigged their back line with Tait moving to full-back.
Patient Tigers play was rewarded with a penalty on halfway, which Burns pumped into the corner. Tigers were again patient, with Bai and Balmain testing the defence before Benjamin collected Tait's pass and stepped past last-man Leota to score at the left corner. Burns' touchline conversion cut the deficit to 30-22 with 22 minutes left.
Tait then produced a stunning piece of defending to prevent a try at the other end. The full-back, as last man, blocked Cusiter's pass and then prevented Sale from winning quick ball, focring Leota to kick to the corner where Benjamin dotted down in-goal.
It proved a crucial and pivotal intervention. Tigers responded with phase after phase to take them into the Sale 22, where they were awarded a penalty for holding on and Williams, on for Burns, cut the deficit to five points with his kick.
Sale ended the game with 14 men. Repeated ruck offences resulted in Addison receiving a yellow card five minutes from time.
Tigers went for the corner with consecutive penalties in a bid to make the man advantage pay. And when de Chaves set up the drive at the second lineout, Tigers did take full advantage. Drive after drive took them up to the line where Salvi applied the finish next to the posts. Williams kept his composure to land the match-winning conversion.
Tigers still had work to do to secure the win, defending the halfway line manfully before Sale knocked-on in midfield to bring the game to an end.