Arsenal 3 Manchester United 2
Manchester United's 10-game unbeaten run came to an end at the Emirates Stadium, after Eddie Nketiah's late strike sunk the Reds to defeat in the Premier League.
Marcus Rashford's 17th goal of the season fired Erik ten Hag's side into an early lead in North London, before Eddie Nketiah's header levelled matters just eight minutes later.
The ever-threatening Bukayo Saka then scored to put the Gunners ahead with just eight minutes played of the second half, curling an effort beyond the on-reaching David De Gea.
Lisandro Martinez's smart looping header evaded the best attempts of William Saliba, drawing the Reds level going into the final half an hour.
But it was to be heartbreak late on, as Nketiah's second of the afternoon handed Mikel Arteta's side all three points in an end-to-end encounter.
With just six minutes gone at the Emirates, United had an early penalty shout waived away following Aaron Ramsdale's coming together with Bruno Fernandes. Our no.8 slipped in behind the Gunners' backline, with referee Anthony Taylor dismissing our stand-in captain's claims early on.
Rashford was on hand soon after to hand the Reds an emphatic lead, after some wayward passing from the hosts handed possession back to Ten Hag's side. Fernandes's cute pass into the feet of our no.10 allowed him time and space to drive forward, cleverly dribbling past Thomas Partey before smashing a low-drive past Aaron Ramsdale.
Our narrow advantage lasted just seven minutes in North London, as the current league leaders hit back soon after through Nketiah. Some tidy build-up play allowed Granit Xhaka to pick out a cross on the left-hand side, before the Arsenal forward was found unmarked to head home the leveller.
Scott McTominay's long-range drive had to be palmed away by Ramsdale with 28 minutes played, as both teams continued to come forward in search of a vital go-ahead goal.
Wout Weghorst's tireless running forced Arsenal back with our high press in forward areas causing initial problems. Our Dutch forward attempted to help piece together play between United's midfield and attack as the first 45 minutes etched on, but the scoreline remained even at the interval.
Flying out of the blocks during the second period, Arsenal took the lead through Saka, with the England international finding time and space to shift the ball onto his left foot, before firing a low drive that flew past De Gea.
Rashford went in search of an instant response and a subsequent second of the afternoon. Our in-form forward cut inside brilliantly before his deflected effort was smartly kept out by Ramsdale.
With just over half an hour to play in North London, United drew level, with Martinez on hand to notch his first goal for the club. A Christian Eriksen corner wasn't dealt with by Arsenal's no.1, as our no.6's looping header sailed over William Saliba to set up a grandstand final 30 minutes.
Arteta's side again gathered momentum as the game teetered on a knife edge. The ball fell kindly to Martin Odegaard, with Eriksen vitally intercepting his left-footed strike at goal to deflect it clear.
Saka was again proving to be a real thorn in the Reds' side over on the right. The 21-year-old once more cut inside onto his preferred left foot, with his effort taking a slight deflection off Eriksen before hitting the post and trickling out of play.
De Gea wonderfully denied Nketiah as the hosts continued to come forward late on. Falling fortuitously at the feet of Arsenal's no.14, our Spanish shot-stopper was on hand to keep the scores level.
However, there was to be late drama at the Emirates, as Nketiah notched a late winner to deny Ten Hag's men. Oleksandr Zinchenko's cross found the feet of Xhaka, before his effort at goal fell kindly to the Arsenal forward, who tapped home from close range, thus sealing the three points for the hosts.
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White (Tomiyasu, 45), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard (c) (Holding 90+3), Martinelli (Trossard, 82); Nketiah.
Subs not used: Turner, Marquinhos, Tierney, Lokonga, Vieira, Smith Rowe.
Goals: Nketiah 24, 89, Saka 53.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane (Garnacho, 90+2), Martinez, Shaw; McTominay, Eriksen; Antony (Fred, 70), Fernandes (c), Rashford, Weghorst.
Subs not used: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Mainoo, Elanga, Pellistri.
Goals: Rashford 17, Martinez 59.
Booked: Antony, Shaw.