And he insisted the only satisfaction he took from reducing Chelsea's lead over Tottenham to an assailable four points came from boosting his own side's top four hopes.
"Manchester United deserved to win because they showed more desire, more motivation, more ambition to win this game", Conte told the BBC.
"Today he scored and it was at the beginning of the match which gave the team confidence and stability".
Add in Conte's reminder of how this season should be seen in the context of Chelsea's poor campaign previous year and the impression is left of a manager trying to lower expectations just when they are at their highest.
"Mourinho has masterminded plenty of wins in big games down the years, but he usually does it with a defensive approach and by setting up with a team that, first and foremost, is very hard to break down".
April 17 (ANI): Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that his side deserved to lose their Premier League clash against Manchester United as the latter "showed more desire, more ambition and more motivation".More news: Trump's 'truly great' pick for Supreme Court sworn in
The Italian said: "I think they deserved to win". In other words the coach was simply unable to transfer the right concentration, ambition and desire to grasp the desired victory.
And boss Conte pointed to what he felt have been contentious decisions against his side in matches with Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. We deserve to win a lot of games but sometimes it is not possible to win and we draw. I'm really happy with the boys. We have to react in the right way.
"We were tactically very good and the players did an fantastic job", Mourinho, who pointed to the United badge as he walked off the pitch, told Sky Sports. "We must have the same". I was running with my arms next to my body and I don't know if the ball touched my arm or not, but it was not my intention.
Two minutes later, though, Herrera won the ball in midfield, possibly by using his hand, and delivered an inch-perfect pass into the path of Rashford who outpaced Luiz and fired low into the far corner of the net.
The Spain global also contributed by doubling United's advantage with a deflected strike just four minutes after half-time. While a couple of refereeing calls could have gone against United, nobody at Cobham this week will be blaming Bobby Madeley given the poor performances throughout the Chelsea team. We gave them double problems.