The Argentine, who hadn’t started a Premier League game since August 2015, was thrown into the starting XI after it was revealed that David de Gea had a hip problem.
And he didn’t let the Portuguese down, making a crucial save from Victor Anichebe in the first half and producing an all-round tidy display between the sticks.
Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to acknowledge his second choice keeper for standing up when called upon against Sunderland.
“It is good for Romero to know we have this confidence in him and today I saw him play really well,” he said.
That’s now nine clean sheets in 12 appearances this season for the 30-year-old. It has somewhat slipped under the radar how Romero has enjoyed something of a renaissance under Mourinho this season; under Louis van Gaal he failed to instil confidence in supporters, displaying a sense of shakiness at every turn.
This time around, however, he has emerged as an effervescent figure, comfortably dominating his area and even contributing to his side’s attacking movements with a series of quick, accurate throws out wide.
Could he pose a challenge to De Gea? That may be slightly far-fetched, but maintaining such an impressive record over the next year or so will only help his cause.