Manchester United were the victims of a burst water pipe that flooded their changing room but managed to stop the leaks in their defence to record a 0-0 draw at Sunderland on Saturday.
However, the result meant Sir Alex Ferguson's side failed to draw level with Chelsea, the Premier League leaders and reigning champions, who will kick off their London derby against Arsenal on Sunday with a two-point lead.
Kick-off was delayed by 20 minutes while United's players found somewhere else within the bowels of the stadium to get changed after the pipe burst above the away dressing room.
Gone are the days when teams can travel to Wearside and cruise to victory and Bruce's young, vibrant side had much more energy for their sluggish visitors.
Having conceded seven goals in just three away games in the Premier League before this trip, the one pleasing aspect for Ferguson was that his backline stood firm against an almighty battering.
Sunderland comprehensively out-played them in the first half and, while Ferguson's half-time team-talk woke his players from their slumber, the Black Cats more than held their own in the second.
Rooney has already declared he will be fit to play for England against Montenegro next week, but Ferguson refused to consider him for this match after he missed the Champions League win in Valencia in mid-week.
Sunderland's Steed Malbranque had the best chance of the first half.
The Manchester United goalkeeper was rather more fortunate moments later when he failed to deal with Jordan Henderson's corner.
United had a lucky escape again before the break when, at the end of another incisive move, Bolo Zenden unleashed a low drive that smacked against the base of the post.
Sunderland's home form has been superb, with United the only team to have beaten them at the Stadium of Light in 2010, and they had already defeated Manchester City and drawn with Arsenal at their home ground this season.
United had improved, though, and they came within a couple of inches of grabbing victory when substitute Dimitar Berbatov -- who also had an effort ruled out for offside when he turned in Scholes's mis-hit shot -- dragged a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
Source: AFP Global Edition