He was not named in the United starting XI for a third straight league game while Fred, a £50 million summer recruit, was not even part of the squad.
But while it has been premature for some to label him as the best in the Premier League after less than half a season, it would also be foolish to suggest that he is a weak link after the Lingard mistake. "They play good football, they're very physical and they're full of energy".
"I have a good feeling towards them, they play in relation to their qualities, the same way the opponent played in relation to their qualities", Mourinho said. "We have played them twice and won once", said Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
"So at this moment in time, I see him - and people will suggest that he has not won a trophy yet at Tottenham, but with a net spend of -£29m, or something over the last four years, he could not have done more".
I swear can't believe his impact this short time.
In a separate interview, Mourinho again chose his words carefully and purposely in saying that players "that were on the pitch today" gave everything.More news: Mulvaney to be acting WH Chief of Staff
"But it wasn't meant to be and, like I say, it's disappointing". "Doesn't matter the manager, doesn't matter anything".
A sense of disunity started surrounding Manchester United as Mourinho had reportedly fallen out with a number of his players including the club's record signing, Paul Pogba.
No one closed down midfielder Fabinho, who was excellent both defensively and going forward in central midfield, and his measured pass forward was chested down by Mane, who volleyed it between De Gea's legs.
Mourinho had successfully parked the bus to come away from Anfield with 0-0 draws in each of the two previous seasons.
United are now languishing in sixth place in the Premier League table ahead of the busy festive period and trail table-toppers Liverpool by a staggering 19 points. Louis van Gaal was sacked at the end of the season, after winning the FA Cup.
When last season's Anfield clash between Liverpool and Manchester United was heading for a 0-0 draw, Jurgen Klopp was either unwilling or unable to alter the complexion of the match from the bench. United's next four games over English soccer's hectic festive period are against Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle, which either offer Mourinho a chance to make up ground or to slip further into the mire.
The same fate is likely to meet Mourinho, despite extending his contract to 2020 earlier this year.