United are four points behind Manchester City with a game in hand, and they're due to face City later in April-the derby is likely to have a significant impact on which team finishes in the UEFA Champions League places.
Despite being consistently slammed by Mourinho, the 21-year-old impressed against David Moyes' men and even grabbed an assist for Mkhitaryan's well-taken goal just after half-time. Home-grown 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies put Everton ahead after only 31 seconds following a dart into the box by Kevin Mirallas.
United were without goalkeeper David de Gea due to a minor hip injury, with Sergio Romero deputising, but Mourinho expects the Spaniard to be fit for the visit of leaders Chelsea next Sunday. We played with one more for a long time. "We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won".
He played just 11 minutes of Premier League football under Jose Mourinho this season.
Anichebe and Defoe had been feeding off scraps all game, but the pair almost conjured up a goal for David Moyes' team with Anichebe teeing up his team-mate, but Defoe couldn't react quick enough to divert the effort home.
"It is very disappointing that we have not taken anything from the game", he said.
It appears a case of when rather than if the Black Cats' decade-long Premier League stay comes to an end, having failed to score in a seventh straight match. "But we started the game, scored a goal and killed it".
United now turn their attention to Thursday night's Europa League tie with Anderlecht.
Regardless of the personnel though, the most important thing on Sunday for United is all three points, and given the quality with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the final third, they'll expect to have too much for Sunderland.
The home side got back on level terms with a 23rd-minute Lukaku glancing header from a brilliant Ross Barkley cross from the right and skipper Phil Jagielka headed in a corner four minutes before the break.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he feels like film character Benjamin Button following his Man-of-the-Match display away to Sunderland. "It was good to protect him but was also good for him to play one hour with a good solid performance and no mistakes, so I'm really pleased for him".