Sebastien Chabal plunged over in the dying moments to condemn Leicester Tigers to back-to-back defeats.
Leicester went into the last 10 minutes trailing 9-6 to Luke McAlister’s hat-trick of penalties, but they looked to have snatched victory when Jordan Crane was driven over in the 71st minute.
Chabal had the final word in the 79th minute when he went over in the right hand corner to inflict a second home defeat of the season on Leicester and complete a GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP double.
Both sides were forced to make changes in the absence of players on duty in the RBS 6 Nations and Leicester were looking to bounce back from the 22-13 defeat at London Irish six days earlier that had ended a four-match winning run and denied them the chance to go top of the table.
Dan Hipkiss was back in the starting line-up after recovering from a groin injury and partnered Aaron Mauger in the centre and Louis Deacon was back in the second row after missing the previous two games. Sam Vesty came in for Geordan Murphy, who was on international duty with Ireland.
Leicester were looking to avenge the 20-14 defeat they suffered at Sale just before Christmas, but they won 32-8 when the sides clashed at Welford Road in the EDF Energy Cup.
Sale were without England debutant Richard Wigglesworth and Eifion Roberts came in at loose head with Andrew Sheridan also in action in France. England international Mark Cueto was on the wing for Sharks.
Andy Goode kicked Leicester into a fifth-minute lead with a penalty that was cancelled out three minutes later by McAlister.
Goode was off target with a 13th-minute penalty attempt, but made no mistake after 25 minutes to put Leicester back in front at 6-3. Tempers reached boiling point in the 27th minute when Chabal and Deacon collided off the ball.
Referee Sean Davey surprisingly decided against handing out any yellow cards. He awarded a penalty to Sale and McAlister belted over from 50 metres to level it at 6-6 on 30 minutes.
Leicester had a 33rd-minute try by Frank Murphy ruled out and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe just failed to gather his kick through at the other end moments later. McAlister put Sale ahead at the break with a 50-metre penalty with the last kick of the half.
Leicester created the first chance of the second half, but Marcos Ayerza knocked on 15 metres short of the line.
Sale had a good spell of pressure after that and should have pulled further clear on 56 minutes, but McAlister’s penalty sailed wide.
Goode missed a penalty attempt from 55 metres on 62 minutes and they were denied a try after scrum-half Sililo Martens had his clearance charged down and he recovered to reclaim the ball on his own try line.
Leicester were ahead again with nine minutes left when Crane was driven over and Goode’s missed conversion meant it was 11-9.
Goode had a drop goal ruled out moments later when he looked to put the game beyond Sale but Chabal snatched the glory for the visitors with his late score.