Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette, appealed in vain for penalties and, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, Mourinho said: "I know the pitch is fantastic and maybe breeds a desire to go to the floor".
David de Gea's lightning reflexes have been beyond doubt for some time now but with Arsenal's shot-count hitting 15 on target, it was clear when all was said and done who José Mourinho's side were indebted to.
Paul Pogba's daft red card with 16 minutes to go made for a dramatic ending, but Arsenal were denied two penalties and United held on.
"You would argue, given what happened at Arsenal on Saturday, that United do have that counter-attack ability with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, and that they do have the ability to score from set-pieces, and they are a better defensive unit than Southampton or West Ham".
"The player with the biggest price tag is more expensive now", he told the Evening Standard.
"If I am a player, and I think with what we produced we have a huge potential, and we lose the game, we can not accept that".
'He's deceptively quick and if you can get that extra [bit of work rate] out of him I'd take him on a free transfer all day long. I don't know so many in English but incredible, phenomenal, fantastic.
'There are not many times you play United and you dominate the whole game, having so many chances, so this is positive, but we are disappointed.
De Gea made 14 saves at the Emirates Stadium - matching the most in a Premier League game - to ensure United left North London with a vital victory in the title race.
'Jose Mourinho will get that out of him'.
United midfielder Ander Herrera said: "We don't think about City".
"You need the keeper to be there for you when the team needs", added Mourinho. "David was incredible. When they had the two or three clear chances David was there so we are very happy".
The French ace, 24, won both the League Cup and Europa League during his first season back in the English game, but believes that analysis was distorted because of his price tag.