Arsenal take the handbrake off
Arsene Wenger's philosophy is, to use his own phrase, to see Arsenal play with the handbrake off. At Chelsea he did not stop there - he cut the brake pipes and gave them a hefty shove down a very steep hill.
Wenger's bold approach was shaped by his admission that only victory would satisfy Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, not simply to keep in touch with the Premier League's top four but also as confirmation that the recent recovery carried genuine substance.
And with Chelsea counterpart Andre Villas-Boas equally intent on casting caution aside, Arsenal won 5-3 after a madcap classic in which attack was not just the best form of defence, it was the only form of defence.
Happily for Wenger, the man at the controls for Arsenal was the exceptional Robin van Persie as he confirmed his status as the second most important man at the club behind his manager.
Van Persie's Arsenal future has provided a sub-plot behind Wenger's attempts to rebuild his squad following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri as the club revealed on Thursday that they are yet to open talks on his new contract.
Wenger, despite similar declarations of optimism before Nasri decided Manchester City met his ambitions more than Arsenal, is confident Van Persie will not take the route out of the Emirates.
When Wenger was asked about Van Persie's contract in the afterglow of a brilliant hat-trick that took his tally to 28 goals in 27 Premier League games this year and gave Arsenal their eighth win in nine games, he said: "There is nothing to add."
Robin van Persie has enjoyed a stunning start to the season (Getty images)
This may not strictly be true. Arsenal may need to add a extra few noughts on to the end of his deal because performances of this stature will only add to his list of admirers.
He was the symbol of an Arsenal display that backed up Wenger's words about the spirit within his squad. Theo Walcott, with England coach Fabio Capello looking on, was not far behind as both a creator and scorer of goals.
And it illustrated Arsenal's need to pin down Van Persie as a matter of urgency. Wenger can rightly point to the wonderful promise of Aaron Ramsey and the injured Jack Wilshere, but study the goals column and the striker's worth is easily calculated and it is currently close to priceless.
Wenger is trying to piece Arsenal back together after early season turbulence, but the biggest lift he could give the club is to persuade Van Persie to stay. And it needs to be done quickly as Nasri has already flagged up the perils of allowing the clock to run down on a contract.
If Arsenal are not in official talks about Van Persie's contract then they should be. Now.
This was the game that flew out of control in head-spinning fashion almost from the first minute, adding its name to those such as Arsenal's own 8-2 loss at Manchester United and the champions' subsequent 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.
No-one is quite sure what has happened to the Premier League this season - but those with a love of goals will not be complaining after we gorged on another feast in west London.
Van Persie concluded a beautifully constructed move involving Ramsey and Gervinho to cancel out Frank Lampard's opener before John Terry - more of him later - put Chelsea back in front.
Andre Santos, miles off the pace as a defender, showed his attacking prowess with another equaliser before Walcott recovered from a stumble to power a finish past the uncertain Petr Cech.
Juan Mata's 25-yard goal, with Arsenal justifiably claiming Romelu Lukaku had fouled Santos in the build-up, set up a frantic finale but the fates had a cruel trick in store for Chelsea and their captain Terry.
Terry's week has centred on allegations he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand, claims he vehemently denies, and if he was hoping for some sweet relief at Stamford Bridge it was not to be.
He looked creaky throughout and his misery was complete after 85 minutes when he slipped as he moved to receive Florent Malouda's pass and was left in eye contact with the turf as Van Persie sped off over the horizon to show his class, coolly rounding Cech to score.
And with even the arch-purist Wenger pleading with Arsenal to adopt a more measured approach in stoppage time, their braking system had failed so comprehensively that Van Persie completed the scoring with a lashed finish that provoked instant comparisons with Sir Geoff Hurst's hat-trick goal in the 1966 World Cup final.
The joy for Wenger, Arsenal and their fans was fully deserved and this was celebrated in the manner of a landmark victory, which the Gunners will hope it is. Fortune favoured their brave attacking style here and to become the first team to score five goals since Liverpool in December 1989 is a commendable feat.
Temptations to now conclude all is well in Arsenal's world, however, should be strongly resisted. Brilliance in attack papered over gaping cracks in defence, where Per Mertesacker was ponderous and uncertain and Santos looks ill-equipped as a full-back.
Wenger may be able to take action here, though, with Thomas Vermaelen fit again and Laurent Koscielny a sturdy, dependable figure amid the carnage of appalling defending from both teams. It would be no surprise to see the German sidelined if Wenger decides Vermaelen can serve him best in central defence.
Arsenal will gain belief, not simply from victory at a ground where it is never earned cheaply, but from their arrival on the margins of the top four - which in reality must be their stated Premier League aim this season.
For Villas-Boas this was a sobering experience and a second successive league defeat. He said he was proud of his team's style but this merely sounded like another piece of unconvincing Chelsea defending, the sort which has seen them go nine league matches without a clean sheet.
He was right to point to the profligacy of missed chances early on, but Gervinho and Van Persie were also guilty for Arsenal and in the end this wonderful, chaotic game got the winners - and the match-winner - it deserved.