It was a poor half on the home side's behalf, with chances for Mesut Ozil and Francis Coquelin before Alexis Sanchez headed home in the 19th minute. Further chances for Patrick van Aanholt, Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ozil followed, but the scoreline remained the same.
Sunderland were back in it when Jermain Defoe slotted home in the 65th minute, however three goals in seven minutes from Sanchez and Oliver Giroud secured three points for the away side.
Knocking on the door
David Moyes rallied the troops ahead of Saturday's clash asking the players to give the fans something to shout about, however it was dismay from the start, as they were bombarded from the off by Arsene Wenger's side.
They had two great chances in quick succession, the first came in the 13th minute as Sanchez picked out Ozil with a inch-perfect pass, but it proved easy for Jordan Pickford.
The Chilean was it it again a minute later, when he found Coquelin with a ball over the top, but Lamine Kone produced a great tackle, and the ball was eventually cleared despite a mild panic in the box.
Sanchez had proven a torment in the opening stages, and it wasn't long until he gave the Gunners the lead.
Oxlade-Chamberlian looked to kick on from his great performance midweek, and he produced a great cross after blazing past Duncan Watmore. It was perfect for the head of Sanchez as his powerful effort gave Pickford no chance as it nestled into the bottom corner.
The Black Cats were almost back in it instantaneously, when van Aanholt lined up the free-kick, but the Dutchman's effort was just wide of Petr Cech's post. They had the ball in the net in the 24th minute, when Defoe bundled home after Wahbi Khazri squared it to him, but both were miles offside.
Just holding on
A bright spell, Sunderland were forced to defend their lines for the remainder of the half, as Arsenal peppered the goal with opportunities.
Sanchez pipped van Aanholt for possession in the 27th minute before giving it to Iwobi, he played a one-two with Kieran Gibbs before trying his luck, but it sailed over the crossbar.
Khazri wrapped up his poor half of football in the 35th minute, as he was dispossessed at the corner flag by Oxlade Chamberlain, the winger made his way into the area and looked to beat Pickford's at the near post, but the keeper did well.
Same couldn't be said three minutes later, with Oxlade-Chamberlain's ball over to Ozil catching out the keeper and leaving him in no man's land, but the German's poor chip saw him off the hook.
Back in it
Moyes' side looked a different team as they came out for the second period, and were handed a great opportunity when they handed a penalty.
Watmore was put clean through on goal and looked to round Cech, but he was brought down and Martin Atkinson had no hesitation. Defoe stepped up, and the striker coolly slotted it down the middle.
Wenger brought on Giroud as he looked to reinstate his side's lead, and the Frenchman made a instant impact.
It only took two minutes after his introduction to give his side the lead, Sanchez played it out to Gibbs and his cross was perfect for Giroud as sweeped home with his first touch.
He added his second just five minutes later, it was brilliant from the striker as he rose to Ozil's corner, and his header looped over Pickford and in.
Ending the contest
It was over as a contest in the 78th minute, as Arsenal rounded a excellent spell of play with their fourth and final goal.
Sanchez showed his predatory skills, as he collected Gibbs' effort off the post, and he showed great composure to strike it home.
That was how the game ended as Arsenal went top of the table, while Sunderland can't get off the bottom.