The Gunners needed late goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott to break down a stubborn Cardiff City side and return to the top of the table.
It remained scoreless until the 89th minute, when substitute Nicklas Bendtner smashed home from close range after David Marshall did well to deny Bacary Sagna's header.
Theo Walcott's delightful chip sealed the three points for Wenger's men, which saw them move back to the summit of the Premier League table.
"We needed to be patient against a very good Cardiff side," Wenger told BBC Sport.
"They did work absolutely hard, their new manager was in the stands. They deserve credit and were a bit unfortunate to lose in the end.
"I think we were mature, intelligent and resilient. Maybe it is a consequence of the number of games we have played.
"We know we have to play 10 home games and we want to make this place a fortress and take the points no matter what the others do.
"If we can manage to do that we will be in a very strong position."