We assess United's invaluable victory over Arsenal in more detail...
The Match A throwback to United-Arsenal encounters of the mid-2000s, with United's charged up approach and resolute defending ultimately winning the day. David Moyes' champions bossed matters in the first period and deservedly led, and were forced to demonstrate their ability to see off Arsenal's regular forays thereafter. With a little more composure in front of goal, there might have been greater comfort to the scoreline, with Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling both passing up inviting openings.
Goals Heading may not be the most fruitful facet of Robin van Persie's supreme goalscoring, but the Dutchman's deft treatment of Rooney's corner was sublime, guiding the ball expertly into one of very few untended spots in the Arsenal goal.
Star men At one end of the field, Smalling and Phil Jones were immaculate, and at the other Rooney achieved near-omnipresence and van Persie gave a masterclass in rendering much from little, while all around them red shirts were soaked to saturation. Supporters could be proud of every single player on display.
Sub-plot Both sides' credentials as title contenders were under intense scrutiny throughout, and the evidence suggested that both will be in the hunt this term. United's resolve was evident throughout, while Arsenal's improvement might have brought an extremely useful point on another day. With no one team as yet outstanding this term, these two sides have as strong a claim as any to be champions next May.