Thierry Henry netted on his Arsenal return in a 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Charlton.
The Addicks had been giving a battling performance at The Emirates, but were hit for six when Henry netted from the penalty spot after Osei Sankofa was given his marching orders.
Charlton were always going to be up against it a man light and things went from bad to worse with Justin Hoyte adding a second before Robin van Persie's second half brace wrapped up a comfortable win.
The three-point haul lifts The Gunners into fourth in the Premiership ahead of Bolton while Alan Pardew's side remain second from bottom six points adrift of safety.
The visitors had the first effort of the game when Dennis Rommedahl lashed wide although The Gunners were soon on the front foot when Gilberto fired over from distance.
Wenger's troops were soon looking dangerous and only Bryan Hughes on Charlton's goal line prevented Philippe Senderos' goal-bound header nestling in the far corner.
Charlton failed to clear the danger and seconds later a superb save from Scott Carson kept Cesc Fabregas' stinging shot out from van Persie's neat through-ball.
Arsenal continued to turn the screw, but while Henry's deft header from Fabregas' neat lofted pass beat Carson it just clipped the bottom of the post to safety.
Disaster struck for The Addicks on the half hour mark when Sankofa needlessly hauled back van Persie after Fabregas' deflected shot struck the crossbar.
Not only was the young defender shown the red card by referee Mike Riley, but Henry made no mistake from the penalty spot to give The Gunners a deserved lead.
The former Juventus ace dispelled any rumours surrounding his relationship with manager Wenger by celebrating his strike with his fellow Frenchman on the sidelines.
Charlton tried to respond, however, Marcus Bent's effort from the edge of the box was far too ambitious and the under-worked Jens Lehmann watched the ball fly over.
Henry nearly had his second of the game from a free-kick, but the impressive Carson made a fine finger-tip save to keep out the France international's drilled set-piece.
Just before the interval the North Londoners pressed home their advantage from an unlikely source. Hoyte played a neat one-two with Henry before slotting home past the onrushing Carson for his first Premiership strike for Arsenal.
Arsenal would have added a third through van Persie immediately after the restart when he was played onside by Talal El Karkouri, but Carson was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger.
Darren Ambrose did keep Lehmann awake with a low drive, although it was a brief rest bite as seconds later Tomas Rosicky went agonisingly close to netting his first Premiership goal when his shot struck the post.
Henry thought he had his second of the game when he tapped home from Alexander Hleb's unselfish square-ball, but the striker was deemed offside when replays hinted he was level.
Carson, who was outstanding on the night, then blocked van Persie's touchline shot and was well placed to collect Fabregas' placed shot from Henry's through-ball.
Henry looked destined to bag his second of the game with a curling shot into the far post after being teed up by Hleb, but Carson made a superb save away to his left to push the effort wide.
The third finally arrived in the 76th minute when van Persie got in on the act by scoring from the penalty spot after Souleymane Diawara was adjudged to have held Henry's shirt in the box.
Arsenal did not let up and ruthlessly added a fourth with virtually the last kick of the game through van Persie's clever chip over Carson, who did not deserve to concede four on the night.
Click here for Arsenal v Charlton player ratings.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Charlton Athletic|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|13||Shots on Target||1|
|5||Shots off Target||3|