Antonio Conte's side needed a late equalizer to come away with a point from their trip to Anfield on Saturday, but City's hard-fought 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town a day later saw them extend their lead over the champions to 11 points.
"'How can we get Manchester City?' There is work, but we have to win games and if they still go on winning all their games, we can do whatever we want".
But City crushed those hopes in gritty fashion as Sergio Aguero's penalty two minutes after the interval eased any nerves from the leaders, who piled on the pressure and were rewarded with six minutes left when Raheem Sterling netted the victor.
United can again move to within five points of their hated neighbours if they win at Watford on Tuesday, before City return to action at home to Southampton 24 hours later. Then, towards the end of the season, maybe overtake them.
"I think the penalty is more than evident".
"We are not going to finish (the season) unbeaten, it is impossible".
"The 18 games in a row is unbelievable and we have 11 in the Premier League in a row so that's good". "We have to be there to keep on winning and hopefully close down on them".
United have no margin for error at Vicarage Road, where Watford will aim for a repeat of last season's shock 3-1 win over Mourinho's team.
Sergio Aguero stepped up and calmly converted from the spot, before Sterling continued his stellar recent form to hand the visitors a crucial 3 points when following up Gabriel Jesus' effort 6 minutes from time. "Then we would have had three points more and we would have been even with Chelsea and that would have been nice".
"Today, I didn't think for a second after the game about Manchester City. We can do better but the boys did well and after a game like this, a performance like tonight should not be taken for granted because it is so hard", he said.