There was a present for Arsène Wenger before kick-off but it was his team who offered the parting gift as they succumbed to an injury-time goal by substitute Marouane Fellaini that said everything, again, about their poor defending.
The result means that Arsenal are still the only team in the four English divisions not to collect a point away from home in 2018 and are on their worst away run since 1966 having lost six successive away games.
Wenger was given a silver vase in a box by Sir Alex Ferguson (one last trophy?) There was a hug for Jose Mourinho, a bitter opponent, from Wenger, another for his former player Alexis Sánchez, who forced his way out in January and an even warmer one for Ferguson, a foe turned friend, who also delivered a heartfelt tribute to him. The United fans applauded Wenger as he walked down the touchline prior to kick-off and for the second-half.
Wenger and Ferguson were fierce rivals for many years as Arsenal and United battled for Premier League supremacy in Wenger's first decade of a 22-year reign in charge.
However, the tension between the two has since eased, and Ferguson greeted Wenger on the touchline before kick-off before presenting him with a glass momento alongside current United manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho has also had his spats with Wenger, most famously decribing the Frenchman as a "specialist in failure" for his inability to win the Premier League since 2003/04.
It was all smiles as the Portuguese and Wenger enjoyed a warm embrace before kick-off while Wenger was applauded by the United support.
"There are some great clubs and some fantastic competition in the Premier League now, but United against Arsenal was great for the game. It made the Premier League," Ferguson told the United website.
"Virtually every game we played against Arsenal, there was a real edge to the match. There were confrontations, because there were two teams and two managers battling for one award: the Premier League.
"In my time, we had a few arguments but I always did really respect the man because he did a fantastic job at his club."
Man Utd 2 : 1 Arsenal
(Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini) (Henrikh Mkhitaryan)