Feel the negative feeling around the place
Many expected an easy three points at the Stadium of Light for Mourinho's men, against former manager David Moyes' side who looked destined for the Premier League drop.
The Black Cats were difficult to break down early on, but it was Zlatan Ibrahimović who once again stepped up for the Red Devils with his 28th goal of an excellent debut campaign on the half hour.
Things were made more difficult for the hosts with the dismissal of Sebastian Larsson just before the break, with
Henrikh Mkhitaryan adding a second just after the restart.
Marcus Rashford rounded off the routine victory in the 89th minute, and after the game Mourinho praised the efforts of his men but also acknowledged the growing negative atmosphere around the Stadium of Light.
“The result was good," Mourinho told manutd.com after the clash. "We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won."
"They left us in a position of 'yes' or 'no'," the coach admitted to the club's website. "It was 'yes'. We got three points and it was a solid display."
"It was against a team that is sad it's normal," he stated on the atmosphere of his opponents. "Against a team that is sad, if you score before then it's difficult for them to react."
"You could feel the negative feeling around the team," Mourinho added. "That is felt with a team is close to relegation."
Pleased for him
Sunday's match saw a rare start for full-back Luke Shaw, after making his return midweek coming on for the injured Ashley Young in the 1-1 draw with Everton.
The 21-year-old put in another solid performance against Moyes' side, he was replaced by Daley Blind just after the hour mark but Mourinho praised the efforts of the youngster looking to fight for his future at Old Trafford.
“I took Shaw off because of the yellow card and the pressure from the crowd," he said. "It was good to protect him."
"But it was also good for him to play one hour with a good solid performance and no mistakes," Mourinho concluded. "So I'm really pleased for him.”