It was the youngest side put out for a Premier League game by Wenger in almost seven years but with the Europa League offering the only chance of Champions League football for his sixth-placed team, it was an understandable choice.
It was all smiles as the Portuguese and Wenger enjoyed a warm embrace before kick-off while Wenger was applauded by the United support.
"Although the Premier League started in 1992-93, that rivalry became the highlight of the league season", Ferguson said. "We (might) have still a big match waiting for us". There were confrontations, because there were two teams and two managers battling for one award: the Premier League.
"We are nearly there but I can't celebrate because nearly is not enough".More news: Rohingya Muslims protest in Bangladeshi camp
The 20-year-old has been regularly training with the first team and was surprisingly called-up by Wenger for Arsenal trip to Old Trafford this afternoon. When I won the Champions League I say the Champions League is most important for me. He will be at Manchester United next year certainly and I don't know where I will be.
"I think if it was a draw it wouldn't be unfair", he said. "I don't know where I will go from there". "I think the fact they made a few changes didn't help us from the mental point of view".
Current United boss Jose Mourinho, who has also had a rocky relationship with the Gunners manager, joined the duo.
They defended poorly for both of United's goals in the defeat.
"I have come here for a long, long time and next time someone else will come here and get a hostile reception".More news: Manchester United vs Arsenal
"It was very nice and classy", he said.
Mkhitaryan lasted just over an hour on his comeback from a knee injury and he could have a key role to play in the Gunners' Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid.
Though, Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored against his former side in that encounter, his goal was a mere consolation as the hosts claimed maximum points to maintain their second position on the table.
Just before the break, Ashley Young hit the post with a cross which turned into a shot which a panicked David Ospina didn't anticipate, as it rattled off his near post.More news: Beijing Motor Show opens, electric vehicles in spotlight