Arsenal initially struggled to find a way past Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but two goals from Alexis Sanchez after the break eventually kept their top-four hopes alive.
His absence was not felt at all as Manchester City moved closer to securing a place in the top four of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
From the Arsenal side the collective disaster of missing the top four doesn't look as likely as it did a few weeks ago.
Sanchez struck twice in the final 17 minutes against the Black Cats as the Gunners overcame a frustrating evening in front of a sparsely-populated Emirates Stadium.
The breakthrough would eventually come on 72 minutes, with the outstanding Mesut Ozil setting up Alexis Sanchez after a superb initial pass from Granit Xhaka. This season has already seen a number of "Wenger out" protests by supporters groups, including planes flying over grounds carrying messages urging the 67-year-old to quit and marches before games, with some empty seats visible at recent Emirates fixtures.
Arsenal go into the game packed full of confidence, however as stated, their fate relies on the form of both Liverpool a Manchester City above them. "We have to adapt to that, so every manager and every team makes whatever he wants". "We want to keep him with us because we know he is so important for our team".
"I don't even think about percentage, I just think about let's make sure we win the game, because we play against Everton".
"I believe finishing outside the top four will not have any influence on how the club will be led and how we will operate on the transfer market", he added.
David Moyes was proud of his Sunderland players and dismissed Wenger's comments made on Monday that some Premier League teams had "released their focus" once they had nothing to fight for.
"He's alright", Wenger just replied when asked about the midfielder substitution.
But in the last two seasons, a team that hasn't played in Europe has won the league.
Wenger said: "We've got in on the final day many times".
"We set out to stop them and contain them and I thought for long periods we did that".
- Trump mired in more controversy over Comey scandal
- Hospital recovers fully from cyber attack
- Always Dreaming is 4-5 early favorite for Preakness
- Randy Brungard: A look ahead at the 142nd Preakness Stakes
- Trump to embark on first overseas trip
- Warriors become just the 5th team to start NBA playoffs 10-0
- What Is Ransomware? How Can Internet Users Protect Themselves From It?
- Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider imprisoning members of the press
- Roger Ailes dead at 77, Fox News says
- Ladarius Green cut by Steelers