Torres was eventually introduced in the second half as Mourinho's experiment of operating without a recognised forward failed to create any clear-cut openings.
But the Spain star, who cost Chelsea a British record £50million when he signed from Liverpool in January 2011, could not trigger an improvement in a match that ended in a goalless draw, underlining Mourinho's belief that he needs more forward power.
"He scored the goal that won the Europa League. That means some millions. He scored the goal against Everton that put Chelsea in the Champions League. That also means some millions," said Mourinho.
"It is not really £50million, maybe it is twenty and a half.
"He is doing his job. He did it again."
Yet Mourinho admitted his team did not do enough to earn maximum points.
"It is a fair point," he said.
"Nobody deserved to lose, nobody was better than the opponent to deserve a clear victory.
"But for us, after two home victories, to come to the champions and get a point is fine.
"I played here with four kids under 22 in attack. It is the first time they play at Old Trafford, against the champions, against Ferdinand and Vidic and Evra. So the result is positive."
Having won their opening two home games Chelsea now face Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the Super Cup in Prague on Friday.
United meanwhile must prepare for a battle against old rivals Liverpool at Anfield, knowing the Merseysiders boast a 100 per cent record from their two games.
David Moyes' team might be in the same position had referee Martin Atkinson awarded the hosts a spot-kick when Tom Cleverley's second-half strike cannoned into Frank Lampard.
Most observers felt it would have been an exceptionally harsh call against the England man.
Moyes was not so sure.
"There was a shout for a penalty," said Moyes.
"The referee had a good game but just afterwards he gave handball against Oscar for a lesser handball in the middle of the pitch.
"We could do with having it defined what is going to be given as a handball."