So, when the two rivals met at the Emirates Stadium six years ago today with the Gunners top of the table and United as the defending champions, another entertaining encounter was anticipated.
It was the hosting league leaders that started the brighter of the two sides in North London and went close to breaking the deadlock when William Gallas headed Cesc Fabregas's cross goalwards, but Edwin van der Sar was on hand to make the save.
However, despite having been on the back foot for the majority of the half, it was United who took the lead into the break thanks to a goal in the 44th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo crossed from the right for Wayne Rooney, who saw his shot beat Manuel Almunia at the near post via a deflection off Gallas.
Just two minutes after the restart, though, Arsenal were level. Van der Sar blocked Emmanuel Adebayor's route to goal, but the rebound fell to Bacary Sagna. The French full-back then cut the ball back to Fabregas and the Spaniard fired into the bottom corner of the net.
Louis Saha, who had replaced Carlos Tevez, gained possession wide on the left, before he slotted a pass through for an onrushing Patrice Evra. From there, the United defender squared for Ronaldo, who had a simple tap-in from close range.
It appeared that United would head back to Manchester with all three points, but as the contest entered into stoppage time, Arsenal equalised for a second time. Van der Sar could only parry Theo Walcott's half-volley and Gallas took full advantage to score from close range, despite the United keeper's best efforts.
"I can't believe it - we've absolutely thrown it away," a disappointed Ferguson said during his post-match interview. "It was a lack of concentration, particularly the first goal.
"It's our throw in their corner flag and we've given a goal away. That was really, really disappointing because we spoke about the concentration and they know exactly what it means in the big games."
ARSENAL: Almunia; Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy; Eboue (Walcott 74), Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Eduardo 80), Hleb (Silva 80); Adebayor
MAN UNITED: Van der Sar; Brown (O'Shea 71), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Anderson (Carrick 76), Hargreaves, Giggs; Tevez (Saha 76), Rooney