Manchester United proved too strong for Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to keep the pace on their rivals Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
After Roberto Mancini's side survived a major scare against Tottenham Hotspur to win 3-2 in Sunday's early kick-off laying down the challenge to Manchester United ahead of their clash with the Gunners.
And Sir Alex Ferguson's side proved they were up to the task, with Antonio Valencia opening the scoring and Danny Welbeck firing home the winner after Dutch hitman Robin Van Persie had pulled the hosts level.
In a disappointing first period, Arsene Wenger's side were particularly poor despite a bright opening 10 minutes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, handed his first league start for the north London outfit.
However, the Red Devils dominated the period, and took the lead in injury-time in the opening period as Ryan Giggs found space on the left flank to produce a perfect cross for Valencia, who headed home from close-range.
But the Gunners were much improved in the second period though, and after Van Perise missed a fantastic chance on the breakaway, another counter-attack led to the striker slotting home on 71 minutes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's withdrawl soon after didn't go down well with the captain or fans, and the mood got even worse on 81 minutes when Welbeck flashed home the winner.
Valencia was again involved, playing a clever one-two with Park Ji-Sung in the box before passing short to the England striker who hit the winner.