Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat Spurs and go top of the Premier League.
Adebayor (left) is congratulated after scoring Arsenal's equaliser
Gareth Bale curled in a 15th-minute free-kick to put Tottenham ahead before Paul Robinson twice denied Adebayor.
Abou Diaby hit the bar as Arsenal pushed on, then Dimitar Berbatov was thwarted by a last-ditch Kolo Toure tackle and Adebayor blazed over.
Arsenal equalised when Adebayor nodded in before Cesc Fabregas' drive put them ahead and Adebayor volleyed a third.
But for long spells it had seemed Arsenal's profligate finishing would lead to Spurs beating their neighbours for the first time in 17 attempts - particularly as there was no such wastefulness from Bale, who took advantage of Manuel Almunia's poor positioning to whip a free-kick into the bottom corner.
But then time and again, Spurs' defence - which included fit-again Michael Dawson for the first time this season - was cut open by the visitors' quick, incisive passing.
As well as the two Adebayor efforts - the first tipped over by Robinson and the second beaten away by the England keeper - Arsenal's Alex Hleb also wasted a good first-half chance.
Fabregas, influential throughout, stormed through the midfield before releasing Adebayor, whose clever lay-off found Hleb in a central position.
But his shot was parried by a well-positioned Robinson, whose confidence had clearly been restored after his two clean sheets for England.
However, he should have picked the ball out of the net after Diaby was played in by Hleb but the Arsenal midfielder rifled his shot against the bar from eight yards.
As the half wore on, though, Tottenham began to settle.
Striker Berbatov floated a teasing cross for Robbie Keane but the Republic of Ireland star was ruled to have handled the ball as he tried to control it.
After the break, Berbatov should have doubled Spurs' lead when he raced through on goal and rounded a stranded Almunia, who had left his area, but the Bulgarian attempted to trick Toure rather than shoot into an unguarded net and was dispossessed.
Yet if that was a bad miss, Adebayor quickly edged ahead in the miss-of-the-match stakes as he blasted over from eight yards following a great run and pull-back by Bacary Sagna.
The game then entered a period of niggling challenges, flared tempers and players squaring up to each other.
Perhaps that unsettled Tottenham - and fired up Arsenal.
And when Fabregas' free-kick came in from the right - after the Spaniard had been fouled by Steed Malbranque - Adebayor finally demonstrated he has a striker's touch by powerfully heading home.
The hosts responded well and Berbatov had a shot cleared off the line by Gael Clichy.
But Tottenham suffered a crushing blow when Fabregas set his aim from distance and crashed in a fierce strike to put Arsenal ahead for the first time.
Spurs then had a great chance to even things up again but substitute Darren Bent scuffed his shot horribly wide when clear through on goal.
And, remarkably, there was still time for Arsenal to score a third goal when Adebayor flipped up the ball on the edge of the box, swivelled and crashed a magnificent volley into the top corner.
Tottenham manager Martin Jol:
"We should have killed them off but we didn't take our chances.
"We should have scored to go 2-0 up and then conceded from a set-piece but at 1-1 we had a good opportunity and then at 2-1 down we had two good chances.
"We took the game to them and created chances. But they were clinical and that was the difference."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"It shows our spirit and belief and I was very happy with our game and our mental strength and togetherness. We have showed them all again.
"Having lost Thierry (Henry), it has helped the belief and mental strength of the team to start well. We never forget Thierry but we know that the team is blossoming and growing.
"There is something in the side; quality, of course, but also mental strength.
"I hope the good form continues. At half-time I could not complain because all we did wrong was not to take our chances. I felt that if we kept the pace high, we would have a good chance of winning."
Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, Kaboul, Lee, Malbranque (Bent 82), Huddlestone, Jenas, Bale (Lennon 69), Berbatov, Keane. Subs Not Used: Cerny, Zokora, Rocha.
Booked: Jenas, Chimbonda.
Goals: Bale 15.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Silva, Clichy, Hleb (Song Billong 90), Fabregas, Diaby (Rosicky 56), Flamini, Adebayor, Van Persie (Denilson 85).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Walcott.
Booked: Sagna, Hleb.
Goals: Adebayor 65, Fabregas 80, Adebayor 90.
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).