Arsenal drew level on points with second-placed Chelsea after making hard work of beating Burnley.
Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring when he slotted in from close range but soon afterwards he was forced off injured.
Burnley equalised when David Nugent latched on to Leon Cort's header and looped the ball over Manuel Almunia.
Theo Walcott curled in a sublime shot to ease the embarrassment of Nicklas Bendtner's awful finishing before Andrey Arshavin rifled in a third.
Denmark international Bendtner, who scored for his country in midweek, is in the running for miss of the season with at least three of his fluffed efforts on goal.
Fortunately for Arsenal, the impressive Walcott was able to supply the cutting edge to his game that has often been lacking to keep the Gunners' title ambitions on track.
Arsenal will fight for title - Wenger
The result takes Arsenal to within two points of leaders Manchester United, who won at Wolves 1-0 later on Saturday.
The Gunners are level on points with Chelsea but have an inferior goal difference and have played one game more than both their title rivals.
And while Arsenal's victory keeps the title race wide open, it also served to leave Burnley deep in relegation trouble.
Brian Laws' side have now won only one of their last 17 league games - and it is hard to see how they will turn things around after another performance lacking guile and belief.
In contrast, there was mental toughness in evidence from the hosts, who were determined to show that the horrific broken leg suffered by Aaron Ramsey against Stoke last weekend would not derail their season.
There was one flashpoint when Walcott reacted angrily to a challenge by Daniel Fox - which showed that memories of Ramsey's injury are still fresh.
But that aside, Arsenal did not look shaken and vulnerable in the way they did after Eduardo suffered a similar injury two years ago.
They did, however, offer Burnley a glimmer of hope when they conceded a poor goal after Emmanuel Eboue's clearance was headed back by Cort and Nugent split the defence to finish smartly.
That goal, against the run of play, restored parity after Fabregas had struck first, steering the ball between Brian Jensen's legs after Samir Nasri's exquisite chip had played him in.
Arsenal will be concerned that Fabregas was unable to continue for long and was replaced by Abou Diaby.
However, even without their talisman, the hosts should have romped to victory given the chances they created.
That they did not was largely down to awful finishing from Bendtner, who headed wide from eight yards, sidefooted wide from the same distance and screwed another good chance off target in the three worst examples from a woeful catalogue of misses.
Jensen also did brilliantly to deny Walcott and Arshavin more than once, while Tomas Rosicky fired over and substitute Eduardo also turned a cross wide.
Hard-working Burnley please Laws
However, Burnley were not without their chances, and they had a good opportunity to bring things back to 2-2 when Almunia failed to deal with a corner but Steven Thompson could only smash over.
Instead, substitute Arshavin finally finished off one of Arsenal's chances when he cut inside from the flank and drove the ball into the bottom corner.
But the stories of the match were Burnley's vulnerability in defence - they have only once on their travels in the league this season conceded fewer than two goals - and Bendtner's nightmare.
Arsenal, though, will be delighted with the form of Walcott who looked sharp and creative.
For Burnley, their top-flight status could be slipping away as they remain next to bottom.
Burnley boss Brian Laws: "I thought in the first half we sat a bit too deep I the first half and we conceded the goal but I thought we responded well in the second half.
"We lived a bit of a charmed life and the had a few chances but we stayed in the game as long as we could.
"But there are positives to take away from the game, we worked ever so hard and we competed well."
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