The Gunners found themselves behind inside 10 minutes when Emmanuel Adebayor scored for Spurs but after he was sent off seven minutes later, Arsene Wenger’s men fought back in fine style to record a vital victory over their arch enemies.
It was a patient beginning by both sides but it was Spurs who drew first blood in the 10th minute with former Gunners ace Adebayor tapping in for his 100th goal in English football after Jermain Defoe had forced the returning Wojciech Szczesny into a save after running onto Jan Vertonghen’s through ball.
Just over seven minutes later, however, Adebayor was sent off for a reckless studs-up challenge on Santi Cazorla which gave Howard Webb no choice but to produce a red card.
That gave Arsenal the ascendency and in the 24th minute they drew level when Theo Walcott beat Kyle Naughton down the right side before getting in a dangerous cross which was met by Per Mertesacker who powered a header past Hugo Lloris from near the penalty spot for his first goal for the club which ignited the Emirates crowd.
And those supporters only got louder late in the first half when Lukas Podolski grabbed his fourth of the Premier League season when he received a ricocheted pass from Mikel Arteta before turning William Gallas and then getting some fortune with the ball bouncing off the French defender and evading Lloris.
A dream comeback for the Gunners was then complete in stoppage time of the opening 45 minutes when Cazorla made a strong run towards the left side after almost stumbling to the ground before picking himself back up and supplying a low cross for Olivier Giroud to turn home at the front post for his fifth goal in his last five outings in all competitions.
Tottenham were well on top in terms of possession early in the second half but the match was essentially wrapped up on the hour-mark when Walcott played in Podolski down the left for the German to produce a pinpoint first-time cross for Cazorla who rammed it home at the back post for 4-1.
With 20 minutes remaining, Gareth Bale gave Spurs some hope when he advanced forward after talking control of Sandro’s sliced clearance before sliding home past Szczesny with his right foot from about 20 yards.
Moments later, the Welshman fired across goal when he could have passed it across the box to Defoe who would have only had to tap in which would have made things very interesting.
But the Gunners were able to hold out for a while before finding a fifth goal with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain feeding Walcott who took one touch before ripping the ball across his body to give the home side their second successive 5-2 win over Spurs at the Emirates Stadium following the same result in February.
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,111