Arsene Wenger’s final trip to Manchester United as Arsenal manager ended in an agonising defeat after an injury-time winner from Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgium international flicked a header past Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina from an Ashley Young cross.
Just three minutes earlier he had headed against the post, with Marcus Rashford bundling home the rebound from an offside position.
United had opened the scoring on 16 minutes when a header from former Arsenal player Alexis Sanchez was knocked on to the post by Hector Bellerin and Paul Pogba stabbed home the rebound for his third goal in four league games.
The hosts lost striker Romelu Lukaku to injury early in the second half, and moments later Henrikh Mkhitaryan was left in plenty of space to weave and strike through the legs of Victor Lindelof.
The game’s tempo petered out after the equaliser – until Fellaini – who Jose Mourinho says is close to a new contract – popped up to snatch the win for United, and secure Champions League football for next season.
Wenger had joked before Sunday’s match that he “always got a great reception at Old Trafford” – referring to his long-standing rivalry with United.
On this occasion, it was true. Old foe Sir Alex Ferguson was master of ceremonies in a pre-match presentation for the Frenchman, who will leave Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years as manager.
The crowd applauded as Wenger was given a silver vase by former United boss Ferguson, and the pair embraced during a photo opportunity in which they were briefly joined by current Red Devils manager Mourinho.
“It was very nice and classy. I enjoyed it,” Wenger said after the game. “I have come here for a long, long time. Next year, someone else will be in the dug-out and it will be a hostile environment again.”
The atmosphere did change after Pogba’s opener, with the home crowd chanting ‘we want you to stay’ and the Arsenal fans responding: ‘Arsene Wenger, he won the league here.’
Wenger – whose team won the title at Old Trafford in 2002 – started the game smiling, but left disappointed after his side stretched their winless run here to 11 matches.
The Frenchman admitted he was unsure whether he would meet Mourinho again, saying: “He will be at Man Utd next year certainly and I don’t know where I will be.
“I have worked at a top level for 35 years without any interruption and I think I am the only one who has done that. I am in unknown territory.
“Will I take a break? I will be surprised if I meet him next year.”
When asked about his gift, Wenger revealed: “I don’t know [what it is]. I haven’t looked at it. I want to have a glass of red wine with Sir Alex because it is always a good wine. Once you are not a danger anymore, people love you.”