After being left out of the starting XI by Mourinho, Pogba was called into action early in the first half when Ander Herrera was forced off with an injury.
And alongside Nemanja Matic and youngster Scott McTominay, the 24-year-old was under the cosh for much of the game as Sevilla searched for a first-leg advantage.
But a stunning reflex save by David de Gea in the first half ensured United kept an important clean sheet away from home.
Unsurprisingly Mourinho was asked about Pogba’s display after the match and though the United boss was happy with his £90million man, he was more effusive about McTominay’s performance.
“Pre-match I had 3 of 4 questions about Paul and he wasn’t even playing,” he said.
“I understand the question but if I was you I would ask about McTominay and he looked like a man with dozens of matches in CL.
“I think Paul made a big effort to try to give the team what I asked of him.
“Paul replaced Ander, he tried to bring to the game the same kind of qualities.