Olivier Giroud maintained his record of scoring in every domestic game this season with the opener but Craig Gardner levelled three minutes after the pause from the penalty spot.
The Gunners regained their lead through Aaron Ramsey, but Sunderland were left fuming after the much-maligned referee Martin Atkinson denied Jozy Altidore an equaliser when he blew up for a foul by Bacary Sagna. Ramsey later doubled the advantage to effectively kill the contest at the Stadium of Light, and sorry Sunderland remain the basement club.
Tottenham made it three wins out of four with the 2-0 defeat of Norwich. Gylfi Sigurdsson, one of the squad members likely to struggle in the wake of Spurs' seven summer signings, proved his point with a brace as Christian Eriksen debuted and Erik Lamela was granted his White Hart Lane bow.
Newcastle won 2-1 at Aston Villa for the second time this year, with Hatem ben Arfa making it two in two and Yoann Gouffran netting the winner after Christian Benteke had levelled. The Magpies are now up to eighth while Villa have dropped to 16th.
Fulham had three goals disallowed when 1-0 up versus West Brom and agonisingly lost their lead as Gareth McAuley struck the Baggies' first league goal of the campaign for a 90th minute equaliser. Steve Sidwell had put the Cottagers one-nil up on 22 minutes.
Peter Whittingham earned Cardiff their first draw away from home at Hull after Curtis Davies had put the Tigers ahead in the clash of the newbies on Humberside.
Stoke and Manchester City drew for a fifth consecutive season at the Britannia Stadium in the day's only goalless affair in the Premier League.
The lumbering Kagisho Dikgacoi brought down Ashley Young, earlier yellow carded for diving, outside the box but referee John Moss pointed to the spot and sent Dikgacoi off for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Belgians Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj made their league debuts to lift a pedestrian United in the second 45 as Palace barely threatened, save for Dwight Gayle's one-on-one with David de Gea at 0-0.