The victory at the Emirates Stadium keeps sixth-placed Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish alive, but they are six points adrift of Manchester City, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualifying slot, albeit with a game in hand.
Arsenal scored twice in three minutes through a deflected Granit Xhaka strike and Danny Welbeck’s header to claim a deserved 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday and inflict a first Premier League defeat on the visitors in 26 games.
The win also takes Arsenal within two points of fifth-placed United, who stay four points behind City having played the same number of games as their local rivals.
Everything else was familiar, with United under orders to produce the sort of bodies behind the ball performance that makes them so hard to beat.
For all of United manager Jose Mourinho’s pre-match bluster about fielding a weakened team, his only concession to youth in eight changes from his midweek Europa League team was 19-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe, who made his Premier League debut.
However frustrating the tactics, there is no doubting their effectiveness and the first half finished with Arsenal having spurned a series of chances and the Emirates again jittery.
United also had their chances before the break, with Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech saving from Anthony Martial.