The Dutchman was returning to the Emirates for the first time since leaving last summer and he cancelled out Theo Walcott's early goal to earn the Red Devils a point.
Read how it an end-to-end game in North London unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.
5.57pmThanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon for an enthralling game at the Emirates. I'll leave you with Rob's match report and make sure you stay around on site for plenty of reaction and analysis. Come back tomorrow for the big game at the other end of the table between Sunderland and Aston Villa. See you then.
5.54pmUnited's failure to win means that they now can't eclipse Chelsea's record Premier League total of 95. They move 14 clear of City in second while Arsenal are fourth, two clear of Spurs who have a game in-hand on their rivals.
5.53pmNo goals in the second half then but still plenty of action to talk about. Van Persie will dominate the headlines because of his equaliser, of course.
90+2 minArsenal just can't find a pass, cross or shot as the United defence goes into lockdown mode. Wenger's men don't have to win but it would be a huge boost in their push for a Champions League finish.
90+1 minFOUR minutes added on at the end. Can either side snatch a winner?
88 minUNITED SUB: Third and final change for Sir Alex sees Rooney taken off for super-sub Javier Hernandez.
88 minCHANCE! Almost a goal on the counter for United as Rooney collects a clearance before carving a superb ball out to Giggs. The veteran can't quite get the ball set though and his to cut back on his right foot before seeing his shot deflected away.
86 minSAVE! Cazorla hesitates on the edge of the area before having a pop. He hits it well but can't beat the dive of De Gea at his near post.
85 minWe should be in for a thrilling finish if @OptaJoe's stats are anything to go by: "15 - Only Arsenal (18) have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of matches than Manchester United (15) this season. Drama."
83 minIt's actually their first of the game but doesn't come to anything as Mertesacker heads clear. Moments later the number 10 has a shooting opportunity but curls it straight at Szczesny.
83 minUNITED SUB: Mr Premier League - Ryan Giggs - is on the pitch in place of Nani. United have a corner, Rooney to take...
81 minYELLOW! An eighth booking of the game goes to Oxlade-Chamberlain for a late challenge on Jones. The tackle actually happened about a minute ago but Dowd didn't forget about it and books the youngster retrospectively.
79 minChance for United on the counter as Rooney sends Valencia on his way down the right. Mertesacker has to come across to cut off the number seven's shooting opportunity and his cross for Nani has far too much on it, giving the Portuguese absolutely no chance of getting there.
78 minARSENAL SUB: Final change for Wenger as he brings on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Ramsey.
78 minGroans follow the delivery as it doesn't beat first man Van Persie.
76 minFrantic stuff in the United area as Walcott and Cazorla exchange passes before the former tries to get a shot off but can't quite sort his feet out. A minute later and again it's the Arsenal number 14 who has a go but it's deflected out for a corner.
74 minUNITED SUB: First change of the afternoon from Ferguson sees Rafael taken off for Anderson. That will see Jones go to right-back.
73 minAn Arsenal corner is flicked out but Sagna keeps it alive with an acrobatic flick before Koscielny fires a vicious volley goalwards that was always going over.
71 minARSENAL SUB: Podolski has been very anonymous today and his afternoon is over as Gervinho comes on.
70 minThe Red Devils then race clear on the counter but it comes to nothing as Rafael's cross-shot is deflected away from Van Persie's path. The ball looks like it's going out of play but hits the base of the corner flag and stays in. Van Persie goes and collects but his pass inside to Evra is overhit and Szczesny sweeps up.
69 minFantastic cross from Walcott that is just too whipped for any red shirt to meet. Gibbs does well to keep it in play but United clear.
66 minCazorla tries to beat De Gea on his side of the wall with the free kick but doesn't connect too cleanly and it bobbles wide.
65 minYELLOW! This is an excellent decision from Dowd. Cazorla's long ball is headed back inside by Gibbs but then clearly deflected by the arm of Valencia. The home fans want a penalty kick but it clearly struck the Ecuadorian's arm outside the box.
64 minEvra almost manages to bundle his way through about 10 challenges and into a shooting position but Szczesny is out quickly.
62 minARSENAL SUB: Wilshere takes the place of the impressive Rosicky. Maybe the Czech is carrying a little niggle because he's been far more influential than Ramsey, who I would have taken off, today.
61 minWow, Bacary Sagna is one very lucky boy. He lunges in on Evra but Dowd allows the play to go on. Had he blown up straight away then surely the Frenchman would have got a second yellow.
60 minAt the hour mark it remains level but United have looked the far more dangerous in this second period. Wilshere is coming on shortly for Arsenal.
56 minSAVE! Again it's United who threaten as Evra swings it over and beats the leap of Koscielny. Rooney's there and his header is low and powerful but bounces straight up into the arms of Szczesny. Either side of the Pole and it would have been a goal.
54 minUnited are the team on top right now. They patiently pass it around the Arsenal box before Rafael jinks past one and goes for goal. He's slightly off-balance though and De Gea sees it over.
51 minUnited almost complete the turnaround as Rooney finds Van Persie on the left before continuing his run into the middle. The Dutchman's cross is a peach right across the face of goal but neither Rooney or Nani can get a vital touch to divert it goalwards.
48 minSHOT! Rosicky surprisingly outpaces and outmuscles Evra to start an Arsenal counter-attack. The foray slows down slightly as Ramsey holds up the play but he gets it back to Rosicky who cuts back inside and tries to find the far corner with the outside of his boot but it zips just wide.
46 minIf you manually refresh this page now, you'll see a picture of Van Persie putting away that penalty above.
46 minKICKOFF! Van Persie and Rooney get the second half underway. No changes for either side.
5.02pmAs my colleague Rob Summerscales mentions in that summary of the opening half, United have four players on a booking, with Jones, Van Persie, Evans and Rafael all on a caution. Three of those four are defensively-minded so have to be extra careful.
5pmEither way, one of the halves of the season that I've watched and I can't wait for the second. Can it match the first? It's coming up shortly.
4.58pmUnited have had their chances too though. The save from Szczesny to keep out Van Persie was a real brave one and surely one of the stops of the season.
4.55pmMr Wenger will be frustrated that Arsenal couldn't open up a two-goal lead with all the dominance they had early on. One chance screams more than any of the others - how Ramsey didn't pick out Walcott and instead went for the wider man in Podolski is beyond me.
4.52pmIf Arsenal can regain their composure in the second half and claim victory they will move a point clear of Chelsea. However, they will have played a game more than Rafael Benitez's side.
4.50pmAcross the capital in Chelsea, the Blues are still winning 2-0 and are about to retake third place from the Gunners.
4.48pmA real half of two halves, that one. Arsenal were blisteringly brilliant for the first half an hour but the last 15 minutes was all United and they're level thanks to that man Van Persie's spot kick.
42 minPENALTY TO UNITED! Sagna scythes down Van Persie and is booked for it.
41 minJUST WIDE! Arsenal look awfully vulnerable from wide positions at the moment. This time it's Valencia on the right who whips it in and there's Jones diving in with a brave header that bounces up off the turf and loops just wide of the angle of post and crossbar.
39 minWHAT A SAVE! Van Persie is presented with the perfect chance to silence the crowd with a free header from five yards but he's denied by the face of Szczesny. There was some real Peter Schmeichel about the way the Pole spread his whole body there. Great stuff.
36 minThis game really is a joy to watch. End-to-end action, fiery challenges and handbags. What more could you want?
33 minYELLOW! Feisty one, this game is. The first Arsenal man to be cautioned is a fired-up Walcott for a lunge on Evra. The Englishman was still wound up that Ramsey hadn't passed to him before.
32 minCHANCE! What a chance for the Gunners! Ramsey collects some wasteful United possession and suddenly it's three on two in front of the box. The Welshman should find Walcott on the right but instead looks left to Podolski whose shot is beaten away by De Gea.
30 minYELLOW! And another United player in the book! This time it's Evans who sees yellow for a challenge from behind on Walcott. It kicks off a little afterwards as well as the Irishman seems to duck his head towards Walcott. Luckily there's no contact but there's definitely a lot of frustration in the United ranks right now.
28 minYELLOW! It's not been a good start from Van Persie and he's just given the home crowd more reason to jeer as Dowd gives him a booking for a rash challenge on Mertesacker.
27 minArsenal are exploiting a lot of space down the right with Sagna. That's probably because Nani isn't the best at tracking back. On the other wing, Valencia is far more energetic at both ends of the pitch.
23 minYELLOW! Another United man in the book as Rafael tugs back Rosicky. Always going to be a yellow, that.
21 minArsenal look ever so dangerous when they come forward in numbers but this time the attack fizzles out as Cazorla's touch lets him down for once.
19 minAnd now it's Arsenal down the other end as Walcott tries a clever reverse cross but it's ahead of Cazorla's run and out of play.
18 minCHANCE! First decent opening of the game for United as the white shirts streak clear and the ball is played to Van Persie on the left. The Dutchman could shoot but elects to dink a cross in for the onrushing Jones. It's perfect for the number four but he can't direct his header goalwards and it flashes wide.
17 minWalcott tries to clip it into a dangerous area but overhits it, causing no problems for the United defence.
16 minYELLOW! First booking of the match goes to Jones for a late challenge on Arteta. Arsenal have a free kick 30-odd yards out.
13 minFerguson is fuming on the sideline as Nani is ousted out by Ramsey's shoulder. It looked a fair challenge to me and Dowd waved play on, but the Scot doesn't think so.
12 min"WHEY!" jeer the home fans as Van Persie's first shot of the game goes very high and wide. United have had absolutely nothing so far.
11 minDoesn't take us long to get pictures up on SM! If you refresh this page now you'll see an image of Walcott putting the ball past De Gea.
7 minSHOT! We all know how two-footed Mr Cazorla is and he's just showcased that wonderful left foot with a stinging, rising drive that De Gea had to beat away. All Arsenal at the moment.
7 minIt's a raucous atmosphere inside the Emirates as Arsenal continue to attack. This time it's Sagna who whips in a cross from the right but it's well defended by Evans under pressure from Podolski.
6 minRosicky lets fly from range but that's never troubling De Gea as it bounces wide of the near post.
4 minArsenal gained possession for the goal from Van Persie giving it away amid a chorus of boos from the home fans.
2 minWhat a start for the hosts! Rosicky slips past the challenge of Evans and slips in Walcott down the inside-right channel. The Englishman is marginally offside but it's not given and he gets the ball to go in despite De Gea getting quite a strong hand to it.
3.56pmThe Arsenal players have received their instructions from the press officer and they're now giving a guard of honour the newly-crowned champions.
3.54pmIn the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, Van Persie scored against his former club as United dominated the match and ran out 2-1 winners.
3.50pmPREDICTION TIME! With 10 minutes until the off in North London, it's time for my thoughts on the game. Despite the fact that there's more at stake for Arsenal, I can't see the Gunners winning. I reckon it will be a score draw or maybe United will snatch the win.
3.47pmAnd he...SCORES! That's 2-0 Chelsea and it looks like Arsenal will want to take something out of this game.
3.46pmMore action at Chelsea as the Blues earn a penalty! Lampard to take after Mata was brought down...
3.44pmThere's been a goal at Stamford Bridge and it's Oscar who has broken the deadlock for Chelsea just before the interval.
3.42pmREFEREE WATCH: Today's man in charge is Phil Dowd.
3.37pmThree points for the Gunners today would put them four clear of Tottenham in fifth while they will hope that Swansea can take something from Chelsea. (It's still 0-0 at Stamford Bridge as they approach half time).
3.34pmArsenal, meanwhile, come into today's match on the back of a victory at Fulham that put them firmly in the top four.
3.30pmUnited go into the match on the back of Monday's title-winning victory over Aston Villa. Yet again it was the RVP show as the Dutchman scored a first-half hat-trick that included a stunning volley.
3.26pmAaaaaanyway, enough doom and gloom from just outside the capital. Back to North London and this afternoon's showpiece clash.
3.23pmAlthough mathematically it looks like either side can escape the drop, the fact that Villa and Wigan face off on the last day of the season means that they would need at least 35 points and they're nine short, with three to play.
3.20pmRELEGATED! It's a 0-0 draw at the Madejski and that means that both QPR and Reading have been relegated from the Premier League. Here's our match report.
3.16pmBriefly away from the Emirates, there are two other Premier League matches today. Reading and QPR are about to both be relegated as they stand at 0-0 while Chelsea and Swansea have just kicked off. It's 0-0 in West London as well.
3.14pmFerguson, meanwhile, has also made a pair of changes to the side that saw off Villa on Monday as Rio Ferdinand and Nani come in for Ryan Giggs and Shinji Kagawa.
3.13pmArsene Wenger makes two changes for the home side, with Kieran Gibbs replacing Nacho Monreal as well as the Podolski-Giroud swap.
3.11pmUNITED XI: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani; Rooney, Van Persie
3.10pmAnd here's the news all Arsenal fans will dread (from @Arsenal on Twitter): "Ex-Arsenal striker Robin van Persie starts for Manchester United."