Neither Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger were involved in the fixture for the first time since 1986, but the former was in the stands for an encounter as entertaining as some of the memorable clashes during their Premier League duopoly.
Anthony Martial levelled shortly after David De Gea’s uncharacteristic mistake saw Shkodran Mustafi open the scoring in the first half at Old Trafford, where Jesse Lingard secured a 2-2 draw just 75 seconds after substitute Alexandre Lacazette squeezed Arsenal back into the lead.
It was a frantic, and at times feisty, encounter at Old Trafford, which saw Emery’s Arsenal rack up a 20th unbeaten game in all competitions as another winless league match leaves United off the pace in the top-four hunt.
The Gunners, buoyed by their north London derby win, threatened to leave Old Trafford with all three points and went ahead after a De Gea mistake that raised as many eyebrows as Mourinho’s decision to drop Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench.
Martial, among the seven changes from the draw at Southampton, quickly levelled, but Arsenal went back ahead as a break ended with substitute Lacazette netting. But United hit back in a way that the watching Tyson Fury would be proud of, with Lingard capitalising on defensive confusion to turn home and set up a grandstand finish - one that would have brought an Arsenal win were it not for some stunning De Gea saves.
Man of the match Nemanja Matic said: “(It was) unlucky for us that we couldn’t score a third one that I think we deserved.
“Everyone knows that the confidence was not high but we showed great character tonight, this is the way we have to fight until the end of the season.”
Liverpool maintained their pursuit of leaders Manchester City by coming from behind to win 3-1 at Burnley.
Jurgen Klopp made seven changes following his side’s weekend win against derby rivals Everton, but a fourth straight league win keeps them second in the table, two points adrift of City. It appeared Klopp’s decision to make wholesale changes could backfire as Jack Cork stabbed Burnley into the early early in the second half.
But James Milner’s excellent low equaliser was followed by Roberto Firmino’s close-range effort, with his first touch three minutes after he had replaced Alberto Moreno, and Xherdan Shaqiri added Liverpool’s third.
Wolves hit back to stun Chelsea, who slipped to back-to-back away defeats after going down 2-1 at Wolves.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave Chelsea an interval lead, but Wolves responded with two goals in four minutes either side of the hour-mark through Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota.
Tottenham bounced back from their weekend defeat to Arsenal by leapfrogging Chelsea back into third place with a 3-1 home victory against Southampton.
Harry Kane’s ninth league goal of the season gave Tottenham an early lead and the Londoners struck twice early in the second half through Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son.
Everton forward Richarlison rescued a point for his side in a 1-1 home draw against Newcastle.
James Maddison denied Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri victory against his former club by earning Leicester a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.
The point lifted bottom-club Fulham level on points with Burnley and Southampton, with Huddersfield staying fourth bottom.