London - Billy Vunipola scored on his return for Saracens, but the England star couldn't stop his side suffering a 24-18 defeat at Sale on Friday.
Vunipola was back in action after breaking his arm in October and his try, combined with Owen Farrell's penalty, gave the English Premiership champions an early 10-3 lead.
But Sale hit back as Sam James touched down to add to a Rob du Preez penalty before Denny Solomona crossed over to put the Sharks 15-10 ahead.
Farrell and Du Preez traded three-pointers just shy of the break.
And it was Du Preez who kicked Sale to victory in the second half with successive efforts.
Saracens gained a bonus-point via a late Nick Tompkins try and that allowed them to move top of the Premiership, although Exeter could reclaim first place against Bristol on Saturday.
Sale move up to fourth with their fifth successive victory.
The visitors initially controlled the game through the accurate kicking of their half-backs and deservedly opened their account in the seventh minute.
Farrell found a hole in the opposition rearguard, sending David Strettle through the gap, and the wing duly fed Alex Lozowski.
The centre was stopped just short of the line but the ball was handed to the returning Vunipola in space and the number eight did the rest.
It was an excellent opening from Saracens, but Mark McCall's men were soon on the back foot.