For one player, it was a chance to show Premier League fans how much he has come on over the past couple of years - former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela.
The Mexican international left for San Sebastian last summer, completing a permanent deal after a year on loan with the club.
And he didn’t disappoint, with 14 goals and 12 assists in his 38 appearances for the club.
This year, he has been finding it tougher to grab games by the scruff of the neck, but still has four goals in eight games - as well as two assists - giving him a record of 18 goals, 14 assists, in his 46 games as a permanent Sociedad player.
What he also has is interest, with Borussia Dortmund said to be monitoring his situation recently.
Recent talk has been of giving him a new deal, to cancel the reported buy-back clause that Arsenal have written into his current deal.
Something he spoke of before today’s game:
In a one-on-one interview with Geoff Shreeves, the Mexican openly discussed the release clause.
"Yes they (Arsenal) have the option.
"Every summer they can take the buy option.
"But for the moment it is difficult.
"They are good now... I am good now.. I don't think it is the best moment to go back to Arsenal."
Asked by Shreeves, 'maybe one day?' Vela coyly and simply replied: "Maybe."
But do Arsenal fans want him back. Well according to the general consensus on Twitter it certainly seems that there is a keenness to see him playing back at The Emirates.
But how did he get on against the Premier League champions.
Well he was, alright, but hardly inspiring. Playing largely from the right he had his moments, but his opposite flank-man Antoine Griezmann did perform better throughout.
Vela had just 38 touches of the ball and completed only 75% of his passes in the game, and for the final 30 minutes I genuinely felt that he had come off as a sub when I wasn’t paying attention, he was that anonymous.
If Arsenal are going to buy him back, tonight’s result might not be the best example of how his talents have developed into performance over the past couple of years.
But Arsenal will want to see more from him then what he produced at Old Trafford….
Why did Arsenal let Vela go?!— Oli Birch (@OliBirch1) October 23, 2013
really want Vela back at Arsenal— cameron (@cameronxedwards) October 23, 2013
I want Carlos Vela back at Arsenal, do we have a buy-back clause?— Carrington Walker (@CarrWalkerr) October 23, 2013
wait isn't Vela that guy Arsenal were bigging up for like 5 years then never played?— Shuayb (@Shuayb11AC) October 23, 2013
Carlos Vela back at Arsenal? Hmm... maybe, but we need a bull dog in the middle first.— Per Svensson (@Naturlig1980) October 23, 2013
Want Vela back at Arsenal ASAP— Ashley Pugh (@Ampugh14) October 23, 2013
Have always thought Arsenal were stupid to let Vela go.. think hes a proper gpod player!!— George (@George_Marbles) October 23, 2013
images: © wonker