If it wasn't for the Belgian then United would have been out of sight before the nerve finale as he pulled off a series of brilliant saves.
He looked up for the fight and was unlucky to be booked for a challenge on Ashley Young before going off injured following a collision with Mignolet.
Off the pace and rusty on his surprise return to the side but got better as the game went on.
He was as bad with the ball as he was without it which was saying something.
He was outpaced every time Antonio Valencia got the ball before limping off injured.
He did his best to keep his team in it and a brave block to deny United underlined his commitment to the cause.
The amount of times he was caught in possession showed he was out of his depth.
What was arguably his worst 45 minutes in a Sunderland shirt was followed by one of his best.
He has been compared to Paul Scholes but was nowhere near his peer's class.
He looked busy but there was no end product.
The former United striker missed a sitter for the second week running.
He rose to the challenge of keeping Sunderland at bay with a steady show.
Strong and committed he looked as though as he back at his best.
He kept James McClean very quiet and not many defenders can say that.
He looked very comfortable at the back throughout as he eased his team towards the finishing line.
On his return to Sunderland he looked very assured.
He tore former United defender O'Shea in the first half.
He was needlessly booked for a challenge on McClean but then kept his team on the front foot in the closing stages.
A class act, the old stager looked full of energy as he pulled the strings and would have sealed the game but for the width of the post.
As busy as ever creating openings left, right and centre and would have scored but for Mignolet's heroics.
He surrendered possession too easily when looking for the killer pass and missed a good first-half chance.
He broke the deadlock with what seem likely to be the title-clincher but missed two excellent openings.