Kyle Walker's late long-range strike gave Tottenham victory in a frenetic north London derby with Arsenal at White Hart Lane.
The right-back - watched by England coach Fabio Capello - condemned Arsenal to their fourth Premier League defeat of the season when his swerving 25-yard effort deceived goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny 17 minutes from time.
Rafael van der Vaart put Spurs in front with the 10,000th goal in the club's history just before the interval, although Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and his players complained bitterly that he had handled before scoring.
Aaron Ramsey then gave Arsenal the equaliser they deserved five minutes after half-time before Walker settled a high-tempo encounter that made light of the searing temperatures.
It was another thrilling meeting between these two fierce rivals and tempers threatened to boil over at the final whistle when Wenger was involved in a touchline confrontation with Spurs coach Clive Allen before the pair made their way down the tunnel.
On the pitch Spurs just edged the Gunners, who more than matched Harry Redknapp's side for long periods, but were once again undermined by fragility at the back.
Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor was a predictably prominent figure for the home side, while Scott Parker demonstrated the wisdom of his signing by completely overshadowing Wenger's £10m deadline day purchase Mikel Arteta.
WHO IS KYLE WALKER?
- Began his career at Sheffield United before to moving to Spurs along with Kyle Naughton in the summer of 2009
- Was loaned back to the Blades and also spent time with QPR
- A further loan spell at Aston Villa led to a call up the England squad for the friendly against Denmark in February
- Has made eight appearances for Spurs this season, scoring his first goal for the club in the win over Arsenal
Szczesny, in particular, will feel the disappointment of defeat but the young Pole also distinguished himself with fine saves from Parker, Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.
The frantic early pace of the game made no allowances for the heat and Parker should have given Spurs the lead after only six minutes. Alex Song conceded possession in dangerous territory but Parker could only shoot straight at Szczesny with only the keeper to beat.
Arsenal's confidence in possession and their willingness to take the game to Spurs belied their early-season struggles and Theo Walcott was inches away from giving them the lead when his angled effort deflected just wide off Ledley King.
From the resulting corner, it needed the intervention of Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the line to divert Ramsey's header away to safety.
Arsenal's best first-half chance fell to Gervinho after 28 minutes, Wenger leaping from his seat and pumping his fists in frustration as the striker took a pass from Robin van Persie in his stride 10 yards out before steering a finish carelessly wide.
The deadlock was broken in contentious circumstances six minutes before half-time. Arsenal's defending was ponderous as Bacary Sagna and Per Mertesacker allowed Van der Vaart far too much time to collect Adebayor's pass before shooting across Szczesny into the bottom corner.
Arsenal, with Wenger leading the complaints, appealed for handball but the protests were ignored as Van der Vaart ran to celebrate among the Spurs fans, an action he was fortunate referee Mike Dean ignored as he had already been booked for a foul on Kieran Gibbs.
Van der Vaart undid his earlier good work when he was guilty of dreadful defending to let Arsenal in for the equaliser. As Younes Kaboul's clearing header fell to Song, the Dutchman made only a token effort to stop his run and was punished as Ramsey arrived at the near post to turn in his cross.
Spurs almost delivered the instant response as Bale set Adebayor free inside the area but Szczesny was once more alert to the danger and denied the former Arsenal striker with an instinctive one-handed save.
However, the young keeper had to take a large share of the responsibility as Spurs regained the lead.
Arsenal's defence allowed substitute Sandro too much time to cross and when the loose ball fell to Walker, his shot carried pace and swerve but Szczesny should not have been deceived to let the ball evade his grasp.
Mertesacker had endured his moments of uncertainty and a complete breakdown in communication with Song almost let Bale in for a third, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide.
Szczesny joined Arsenal's attack as they forced corners in injury time - but it was to no avail as Spurs held on to win.
- 24 Friedel
- 03 Bale
- 04 Kaboul
- 26 King
- 28 Walker
- 32 Assou-Ekotto
- 08 Parker Booked (Corluka - 90' )
- 11 Van der Vaart Booked (Sandro - 63' )
- 14 Modric
- 10 Adebayor (Livermore - 84' )
- 18 Defoe
- 23 Cudicini
- 19 Bassong
- 22 Corluka
- 29 Livermore
- 30 Sandro
- 09 Pavlyuchenko
- 17 Giovani
- 13 Szczesny
- 03 Sagna (Jenkinson - 68' )
- 04 Mertesacker Booked
- 28 Gibbs
- 08 Arteta
- 14 Walcott (Benayoun - 72' )
- 16 Ramsey
- 17 Song
- 39 Coquelin
- 10 Van Persie
- 27 Gervinho (Arshavin - 77' )
- 21 Fabianski
- 11 Santos
- 25 Jenkinson
- 23 Arshavin
- 26 Frimpong
- 30 Benayoun
- 09 Park Chu-Young