Callum McManaman celebrated his dramatic 96th-minute equaliser to seal a point against Middlesbrough by running to the Boro bench and cupping his ear towards Tony Pulis.
The winger played under Pulis at West Brom but struggled for game time, McManaman moving out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday last season before joining Sunderland in the summer on a two-year deal.
McManaman headed towards Pulis' technical area before cupping his ear towards his former Baggies manager.
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman said he didn't get involved in the incident but said there was some "history" between the pair.
Boro boss Pulis was asked about the incident post-match and whether he was angered by McManaman's celebration, for which he was booked.
Pulis said: "No, not really. He was disappointed when he was at West Brom I never picked him.
"He went to Sheffield Wednesday and they didn't pick him and he is here and they don't pick him! I understand the boy is very frustrated.
"Let's talk about the game."
Pulis and McManaman were then seen having words as they made their way inside at the final whistle.
Asked if there were any further incidents in the tunnel, Pulis said: "No, nothing, just a bit of banter between two people. A bit of fun. Not a problem.
"I understand why he is disappointed, everyone wants to play.
"No pushing, no shoving."
Sunderland boss Coleman joked: "I thought he was running to me! So I got blanked!"
He added: "I honestly I didn't know what it was to do with as I didn't twig that Cal was at West Brom and Tony was the manager, but I didn't get into it afterwards.
"I don't know what was said.
"There were probably words and a reaction but I was just happy that Cal that he got the equaliser. But there's a bit of history there."
McManaman's volley at the back post capped off a remarkable afternoon at the Stadium of Light, a 3-3 draw which also saw two red cards; Jake Clarke- Salter and Adama Traore seeing
red before half-time.
Sunderland led 1-0 at half-time through Joel Asoro but Boro hit back after the break through Patrick Bamford and Grant Leadbitter, Jonny Williams equalising for the hosts.
Bamford struck again with 20 minutes to go but a spirited Sunderland side fought back and earned a dramatic last minute equaliser, to spark wild scenes of celebration.