However, Ben Yedder's double gave United a mountain to climb and Romelu Lukaku's goal was not enough to mount a comeback.
The problem now is that he is still inflicting misery on United - ask the supporters what they think of his approach to the game - but should he really be doing that as the team's manager?
Neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona sidelined their attacking players to stifle N'Zonzi when facing Sevilla but Fellaini's selection was purely a result of the presence of the former Blackburn and Stoke player.
United fans will probably all have different opinions but the question was put to Rio Ferdinand ahead of United's Champions League second-leg vs Sevilla. Hopefully, I can get some game time and I am still enjoying training.
"I sit in this chair twice in the Champions League and knocked United out of the Champions League, with Real or Porto, so I don't think it is something new for the club".
"That's football, we lost, but tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another match".
At a restless Old Trafford, United never got out of first gear and Sevilla, having dominated the opening leg at home without finding a way to beat David de Gea in a goalless draw, deservedly progressed.
Mourinho's side showed none of the intensity displayed in the weekend defeat of Liverpool, Marouane Fellaini mustering the only noteworthy shot in a first half that the visitors edged. The United manager attempted to retrieve the situation by throwing on Anthony Martial and Mata, but it was too little, too late.
This was Sevilla's first win on English soil, with their Champions League bid last season coming undone against Leicester at the last 16 stage. The Belgian flashed the first over from 20 yards after a good one-two with the winger, before Sevilla defender Langlet did well to block his second attempt on the edge of the six yard box following a unsafe ball in from Lingard. However, the Belgian's effort was saved by Sergio Rico at the near post.
Before United could respond it was 2-0 and game over, chaotic defending allowing Ben Yedder to divert a goalbound header that a desperate De Gea was unable to stop crossing the line.