Spurs denied Arsenal the chance to top the table with a stunning second half comeback to win 3-2 after going into half-time 2-0 down.
Arsenal cruised into half time with goals from Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh giving them a 2-0 lead. If the scoreline had stayed intact, they would have topped the table for the first time this season, considering Chelsea slumped to another defeat against Birmingham at St. Andrews.
Spurs though did the unthinkable and came back with three second half goals from Gareth Bale, Van der Vaart and Younis Kaboul to win 3-2- their first Premier League away victory against their rivals since May 1993.
After Nasri kept his pre-match vow to not shake William Gallas' hand who was his former team-mate for club and country, the game began with a clash between the pair. Seconds into the game Nasri was slipped through into the area, but he was stopped in his tracks by a fine sliding tackle by Gallas.
It was a sign of things to come as Arsenal went through the Spurs defence with ease. Fabregas was guilty of missing a chance as he got into the right of the Spurs D but dragged his shot wide away from the far post.
Spurs keeper Hurelho Gomes looked shaky in the opening periods and flapped at cross. Soon, he was to blame for Arsenal's opener. Fabregas' ball over the top found Nasri's run into the box. Though the Frenchman's touch was too heavy. Gomes who came of the line hesitated and allowed the ball to slip through. Nasri pounced onto the loose ball and slipped it between the legs of Assou-Ekotto into the empty net from a tight angle.
There was no reaction from Spurs, and the only hint of it came when Gallas broke away from his defence charging to the edge of the Arsenal box, before Alex Song halted the run.
It was all Arsenal so far and it was only a matter of time before they scored their second. It came in the 27th minute. The Gunners counter-attacked with brisk pace, which saw Fabregas left at the half way line with acres of space to run into. He fed Arshavin on the left and the Chamakh was the first to get to the Russian's low cross.
At half-time, Spurs had a lot of things to work on. Manager Harry Redknapp brought on fit-again Jermain Defoe for Aaron Lennon, and the tactic had its impact all through the second half.
Five minutes into the restart, Spurs scored and Defoe was involved in the build up. Assou-Ekotto's long ball from defence was nodded down to Van der Vaart by Defoe. The Dutchman chested down and then slipped it through for the on-rushing Gareth Bale who touched it out of the reach of Fabianski and into the far corner.
The goal inspired Spurs and they looked increasingly threatening. Arsenal lost shape and Modric's shot from 20 yards flew just over.
Just past the hour-mark, Song brought down Modric in a dangerous position. Van der Vaart whipped the free-kick into the wall and both Fabregas and Chamakh in the wall raised their arms blocking the ball. The ref had little choice but to award Spurs a penalty.
Van der Vaart equalized, sending Fabianski the wrong way. The Dutchman's exuberant celebrations earned him a yellow card.
Arsenal responded and they soon had the ball in the net after an indirect free-kick. But there were little complaints as the goal was disallowed for offside as both Fabregas and Sebastien Squillaci were way off the last man.
Both teams made substitutions with Spurs sending out Peter Crouch for Roman Pavlyuchenko while Arsenal injected more pace with Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky coming on for Arshavin and Nasri.
With five minutes left, Spurs grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. Koscielny fouled Bale near the right of the touchline. Van der Vaart glided in the free-kick and Kaboul got a head to it to guide the ball into the far corner.
Ref Phil Dowd signaled five minutes of stoppage time, but all Arsenal's pressing came to nothing as Spurs held on for a victory which will be remembered for many years to come.