Mata, though, pulled a goal back when he curled in a free kick in the 70th and, five minutes later, Anthony Martial cut inside after swapping passes with Paul Pogba to equalise with a venomous low shot.
All seemed to have ended well when the substitute Alexis Sánchez put a month of indifferent form behind him to head home the victor and the Stretford End began chanting Mourinho's name in a show of support, though even as the manager was expressing his distaste for personal scrutiny on television, Rio Ferdinand admitted on the same channel the use of the word manhunt had caused him to chuckle.
There had rumours before the game that Jose Mourinho would be sacked regardless of the result against the Magpies.
This week Mourinho told his players that the badge on the front of the shirt is as important as the name of the back, having expressed his concern that some care about United's issues more than others.
The Venezuela global missed the defeat to Leicester City last weekend, and he is going to be forced to miss the trip to Old Trafford too.
"At the end of the day this is going on for five or six years and I have to say Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world".
"The last season was phenomenal exactly because of these two factors - our potential and the potential of our opponents".
"But we are in a position that we can do much better than that and to do that we need points".
Crean una policía migratoria en Venezuela que controlará las fronteras
Reforzará "los controles que venían existiendo, como un cuerpo especializado, para atender la realidad en la frontera ", añadió, aludiendo al territorio de 2.200 km colindante con Colombia.
'What are we meant to say something else?
"A lot of things have been directed at me personally", he said.
"As a friend of mine was saying to me this morning, if tomorrow it rains in London it is my fault", Mourinho said.
Senior club players called for his sacking in December itself but the owners chose to stick with him until Manchester United mathematically failed to enter the Champions League.
Juventus then visit Old Trafford three days later.
During a prickly meeting with reporters the United manager was asked for the reasons behind his team's poor form.
"With all the respect and I hope they don't interpret me in a negative way, if we are playing in a league like the Swiss league and we don't win that league, anything else apart from winning that league would be an bad season".
Mourinho has repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether he feels his team is good enough to challenge for the title.