Edwin van der Sar was Manchester United's saviour as the title hopefuls drew 0-0 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
United's preparations were interrupted by a burst pipe that flooded their dressing room ahead of kick-off, meaning the game started 20 minutes late.
Sunderland had a good opportunity in the 16th minute when Steed Malbranque's excellent first touch put the Frenchman in on Van der Sar - but the Dutchman got in a vital block.
Nedum Onuoha saw an instinctive shot hacked off the line after he had got a touch to Ahmed Elmohamady's driven cross, before the woodwork came to United's rescue eight minutes before the break when Bolo Zenden's shot evaded Van der Sar's outstretched arm but hit the post.
If Van der Sar had kept his side in the game before the break, Nemanja Vidic had to do the same after it.
Darren Fletcher could only help Zenden's 63rd-minute free-kick towards his own goal, but Vidic blocked that and Elmohamady's follow-up before the Egyptian blasted the rebound high over.