Arteta put Arsenal ahead with a 47th-minute penalty but the Spaniard was then dismissed 18 minutes later following a tangle with Marouane Chamakh some 35 yards out from goal.
Referee Chris Foy showed the red card after deeming Arteta had prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Managerless Palace rallied after that but were denied by two brilliant saves from Wojciech Szczesny, and Arsenal sealed the 2-0 win when Olivier Giroud headed home a late second.
Wenger told BT Sport: "We showed a lot of resilience and patience and good organisation against a team who were really up for it.
"It was a very convincing win because when we were down to 10 men we mastered the situation quite well.
"They came at us and we dealt well with the long balls. Every time we came out in the last 15 minutes it looked like we could score, and we got one with two minutes to go, which was a relief, and gives us three important points."
Regarding the red card, Wenger added: "I honestly believe it was the wrong decision. Why? Because it has to be a clear goalscoring opportunity. It was very far from goal, he was not the last man, and even the foul was, to me, accidental. So I think he got that wrong."
The win ensured Arsenal, beaten in the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, will finish the weekend on top of the table, but Wenger is refusing to look too far ahead in the title race.
"It's a bit early but it's nice to be there," he said.
"It's good as well for the character of the team to respond after the disappointment of Tuesday night."