Arsenal comes out on top in a thrilling game at the Emirates, boosting their chances of clinching a top-four spot this season.
Tavares put them ahead after just three minutes before Saka converted from the spot to make it 2-0, but Ronaldo pulled one back to make it 2-1 at the break.
United then came out fighting at the start of the second period, and Fernandes had an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot after Matic was fouled, but he struck the woodwork.
Ramsdale then pulled off a superb save to deny Dalot at his near post, pushing the ball onto the post.
United’s missed opportunities came back to haunt them later on, as Xhaka made it 3-1 on 70 minutes with a superb strike from outside the box, wrapping up the three points.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Cedric Soares, Ben White, Gabriel, Nuno Tavares; Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah.
ARSENAL SUBS: Bernd Leno, Alexandre Lacazette, Rob Holding, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nicolas Pepe, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Gabriel Martinelli, Miguel Azeez, Zak Swanson.
MAN UTD (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Alex Telles; Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay; Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo.
MAN UTD SUBS: Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Alejandro Garnacho.
ARSENAL TAKE THE LEAD! What a start by the Gunners, but it isn’t excellent defending from United! A deep cross comes into the box from the left wing, and Varane and Telles both take a swing at the ball but miss it, and it falls to Saka at the back post. Saka tries to curl it into the bottom left corner of the net, but De Gea makes excellent diving save to deny him. However, it lands straight into the path of Tavares, who has a tap-in from close range, and he makes it 1-0.
ARSENAL DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! They finally have their second goal! Saka steps up to take the penalty, and he sends De Gea the wrong way, firing the ball into the left side of the net to make it 2-0.
UNITED PULL ONE BACK! Matic whips a superb cross into the penalty area from the left, and Ronaldo gets ahead of Tavares and Gabriel, firing the ball past Ramsdale and into the back of the net to make it 2-1.
WHAT A GOAL BY XHAKA! United fail to clear the danger, and Elneny picks it up around 30 yards out, he then plays it to Xhaka to his left, and the midfielder powers his strike straight into the bottom right corner of the net. De Gea had no chance of stopping that. It was 3-1.
So, what’s next?
This win sends Arsenal above Tottenham and into the fourth position, but the Spurs play later today and have a slightly better goal difference so that things can change. Next up for the Gunners is a trip to West Ham.
Meanwhile, United remain sixth, six points off the fourth spot and following up for them is a game against Chelsea in midweek.
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