With little at stake for either side other than pride, both sets of fans arrived for a relaxed end of season afternoon, and that atmosphere was reflected on the pitch.
Theo Walcott handed Arsene Wenger a winning finish to the season with the only goal at Sunderland.
The England Under-21 international fired home from Gilberto's 24th-minute pass to claim the points as the Black Cats fought them all the way to the whistle.
In truth, had the Gunners been more clinical in front of goal, with Emmanuel Adebayor and Gilberto both passing up good opportunities, they might have won more comfortably.
However, they were not (as usual this season) and the Wearsiders kept them at full-stretch to the end with Roy O'Donovan going close and Michael Chopra seeing appeals for a late penalty waved away.
In the event, one goal was enough for Arsenal to cement their position in third place as Roy Keane's men ended a tough campaign with a home defeat, but a spirited display which was warmly applauded by a sell-out crowd of 47,802.
VIDEO LINK :
Sunderland 0 - 1 Arsenal
24 [0 - 1] T. Walcott
(Theo Walcott's goal only - sorry)