With the quality players they have Chelsea had a good chance of beating United in a straight fight, but the players went out on the pitch prepped not to lose, rather than to try and win - the fact that they did get the three points was more a happy coincidence than anything else.
Like the spectacular solar eclipse that many were fortunate to witness the previous day, last Saturday's extraordinary day of rugby was an event made more memorable by its rarity...
Mourinho has the capacity to manipulate the media and to direct the press' attention where he sees fit. It is an attribute that so few top-flight managers possess but in modern football, it can be an essential tool in the coach's artillery.
Accustomed to watching their side roll over teams at home week after week, the City fans were again left in shock after a spirited Newcastle performance sent Pellegrini's men crashing out of the cup at only the second time of asking. There were no excuses for a crestfallen City.
Essentially, Mourinho is playing the Football Manager game with real people. It's a foolproof plan and the easiest way of turning up money to improve the first team squad... Chelsea's transfer strategy is long term and it's such a strong blueprint that it's going to keep them at the pinnacle of English football for the years to come.
The most telling moment this season at Anfield wasn't when he was dropped from the squad - registering just 34 minutes of football in 2015 at the time of writing - nor was it the time he was slammed by boss Brendan Rodgers for swapping shirts with Pepe at half-time. It was, typically, something that happened off the pitch.
Current league holders Manchester City should not be surprised if on January 31 they meet a Chelsea team that plays both freely because it is relieved of some pressure and angrily because it feels that the world is responsible for its defeat at the hands of Bradford in FA Cup.
Jose Mourinho and Chelsea couldn't get near it and as Thierry Henry once said, "Breaking the record and holding on to our invincibility - that's a hell of an achievement in English football, and nobody will ever be able to take that away from us".
Football has become a massive global brand over time. With the almost daily coverage of Europe's top leagues beamed around the world for multi-million pound TV deals, from here in the UK all the way to the United States, the UAE, China, and South Korea...
The line from British commentators and reporters has long been the same - the Premier League is the best league in the world. By a mile. No debate. But even if that was once true, it's abundantly clear that it's now a delusion, a line repeated out of familiarity rather than any sort of evidence.
The easy explanation of Manchester United's dramatic-fashioned equaliser against Chelsea on Sunday is to blame it on Ivanovic's dismissal. Despite the second booking obviously not was being irrelevant, José Mourinho didn't help himself through applying a zonal marking approach on set pieces.
It is this sort of patience and uncertainty that precludes the restless and impatient, and because of these things, constantly successful Mourinho from being anywhere near the right fit for the Arsenal model. For a club that continues to model itself on actualizing potential, Wenger is still the right man.
Chelsea look ominous, Liverpool and Man Utd look unlikely to compete at the top due to complete defensive inadequacy, while the North London teams look set for another groundhog season of raised then dashed hopes - though hope then dejection has pretty much already taken place at Spurs.
The competition for starting spots in Schürrle's position is high. Mourinho can call on Eden Hazard, Willian and Mohamed Salah to play on the right and left flank and with Hazard a dead cert to start when fit, there are three players effectively battling for one spot... With Fàbregas pulling the strings in midfield, Schürrle is likely to have numerous opportunities to better his goal return this term.
The 2014/15 Premier League season promises to be one of the best yet with eagerly anticipated competition throughout the table from top to bottom... But over the years history has provided plenty of drama and excitement for this campaign to live up to and here's a look back at five of the very best seasons since the new era began in 1992.
When Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge last summer, there were musings that things might be different this time around. A few months into his second stint he hinted at wanting to build a dynasty as part of a long term project. But it seems that plan soon fell by the wayside as he reverted to putting his faith in established stars rather than promising youth.