Pardew, who saw Cheick Tiote sent off after just 25 minutes, said that it would have been a memorable win but that he can have few complaints about the sending-off.
"It was a magnificent effort," BBC Sport quotes Pardew as saying. "It was important to our fans and we showed how important it is to us.
"An hour with 10 men, we couldn't hold on to the lead, if we did it would have been one of the greatest victories here ever.
"We were the better team before the sending off. At first, I didn't think [Tiote's foul] was that bad, but looking at it again, I can't have too many complaints."
Demba Ba scored an own-goal in the 85th minute to hand Sunderland a share of the spoils.