"Of course we are unhappy with the result but one penalty and one fantastic finish made the difference".
It was good news, however for Marcus Rashford as he was afforded a starting berth in his preferred centre-forward position.
After a quiet start to the game, the first chance of the game fell for Andre Gomes in the 14th for the Toffees with a free-header inside the box that was comfortably collected by United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Between the ball being placed on the spot and Pickford's save, 24-seconds elapsed.
And, after Martial had scored a second to continue his recent fine form, Everton won a penalty of their own, converted by Gylfi Sigurdsson, to ensure United faced an anxious 13 minutes before the final whistle.
He then went on to one-up his contribution in the first half as he curled a lovely first time shot into the corner - surely one for Old Trafford to remember.
Paul Pogba didn't do much to settle the home fans' nerves in the 27th minute however, as he assumed penalty duties in the league for the fourth time this season.
The visitors were looking shaky towards the end of the half and United probably felt they could have went into the break with at least a two-goal cushion.
In the 76th minute, Everton were provided a lifeline in the match as Chris Smalling's rash challenge brought down Richarlison in the penalty area. Both sides looked equally threatening before the penalty kick-started United's ascendancy.
The goal certainly helped the home side settle down and they appeared keen to keep pressure on the right side of the Everton defence with Martial and Pogba in particular. They even had the stats to match, taking 14 shots and dominating possession 53.6% to Everton's 46.4%.
Mourinho and Martial have fallen out on more than one occasion during their time together, but the United manager has suggested that it is the Frenchman's camp who are at fault for the player's inconsistent performances.
STAR MAN - Realistically, this label should be shared between Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. United had looked largely comfortable until then before things started getting a little itchy.
Everton kept pushing after Ademola Lookman had come on for Bernard and they got their reward when Richarlison was sent sprawling to the turf by Smalling and the referee had no option but to point to the spot.
"This victory was very important to get us back toward the top of the league".