Keeper Edwin van der Sar and the woodwork kept Sunderland at bay in a goalless draw as Manchester United managed to escape with their unbeaten start to the season intact.
The Dutchman denied Steed Malbranque one-on-one with 16 minutes gone and then saw Bolo Zenden's 37th-minute shot come back off the post as the Black Cats dominated for long periods.
Half-time substitute Dimitar Berbatov had a 48th-minute strike correctly ruled out for offside and Nani forced a fine late save from Simon Mignolet, but United were well below par in a game which kicked off 20 minutes late because of a burst pipe in their dressing room.
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