It was a subdued display by United and they endured an anxious final few minutes before the final whistle sealed a hat-trick of titles and moved them alongside Liverpool as England's [ Images ] most crowned club.
Arsenal, who will finish a distant fourth, enjoyed plenty of possession without creating many clear chances while United's feared attack only occasionally sparked into life.
With one round of matches yet to play on May 24, United have 87 points while Liverpool, who visit West Bromwich Albion [ Images ] on Sunday, have 80.
Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas [ Images ] almost stunned Old Trafford with seven minutes remaining when he struck a shot against the outside of the post but United survived to hand manager Alex Ferguson [ Images ] his 11th league title in 22 years at the helm.
The Scot can now rest players for next weekend's finale against Hull City in preparation for the Champions League [ Images ] final against Barcelona [ Images ] in Rome on May 27 when United can scoop up a fourth trophy of a sensational season.
United had already won the League Cup and FIFA's [ Images ] Club World Cup but were denied the chance of a remarkable five trophies when they lost to Everton in the FA Cup semi-finals.
On Saturday, it was not the swashbuckling football that United's fans have been used to this season and which blew Arsenal away in their Champions League semi-final.
United were restrained throughout, with Carlos Tevez [ Images ] forced to forage largely alone up front. The Argentine was substituted midway through the second period -- a decision that drew boos from the crowd before he received a standing ovation in what could be his last home game for the club.
However, the final minutes produced the rare sight of a United side hanging on with 10 men behind the ball as Arsenal sensed a chance to spoil the party and Fabregas almost extended the title race until the final day of the season.