In a game where they needed to make a title statement, after Leicester City, yet again, made theirs on Saturday, Arsenal folded like a house of cards against a Manchester United side shattered by injuries.
Arsene Wenger, going into this game, insisted his team are not "chokers", but after a performance bereft of passion, quality and desire, it is a statement that even the Arsenal manager will find difficult to defend now.
Arsenal were lethargic and ponderous form minute one, almost the exact opposite of the side that absolutely blitzed the same opponents in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Managers are supposed to be able to fix obvious problems, but to see a team come out with no energy is something that cannot be explained or understood.
For all of Arsenal's woefulness, though, plenty of credit should also go to Manchester United, and particularly Marcus Rashford, who, after scoring two goals on debut against FC Midtjylland on Thursday, added another two more to his kitty in his first English Premier League match, while picking up an assist as well in a convincing and thoroughly deserved 3-2 win. Playing with kids does win you games, after all; well, at least against this kind of uninspiring Arsenal side.
The result of the three points dropped is that the gap to Leicester City remains at five points, with just 11 games to go in the season. And to be fair, the way Arsenal have played over the last few months, they do not deserve to stand up on that podium and lift the trophy that everyone so craves.
Rashford opened the scoring for Manchester United in the 29th minute, striking a ball firmly from about nine yards after a right-wing cross Guillermo Varela fell into his path. Rashford then made it 2-0 for Manchester United in the 32nd minute, this time off a wonderful centre-forward header.
Arsenal got back to 2-1 just before halftime as former Manchester United man Danny Welbeck struck, again getting on the end of a Mesut Ozil freekick.
If Arsenal were expected to come into the second half all guns blazing, it was far from the truth as more ponderous, how-do-we-go-forward play allowed Manchester United to grow in confidence again, and Ander Herrera put the game to bed in the 65th minute, swirling a shot from the edge of the box, off a pass from Rashford, which took a big deflection off Laurent Koscielny to completely wrong-foot Petr Cech.
Ozil score four minutes later to make it 3-2, but Manchester United stayed firm to take a deserved victory.