Two goals in just over two minutes before the break sealed victory for Andre Villas-Boas' men, who underlined their position as top dogs in the north of the capital thanks to a lax display at the back from the Gunners.
Despite playing second fiddle to Spurs for most of the season, Arsenal started strongly, and they looked as if they had the potential to record their first win at White Hart Lane in six years.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon had other ideas, however. Bale slipped behind a static Arsenal back four and slotted past Wojciech Szczesny to put Tottenham 1-0 up before Lennon breezed past the flat back line moments later, latching on to Scott Parker's pass before beating the Arsenal goalkeeper from close range.
Per Mertesacker pulled one back for the Gunners in the second half, but a mix of wasteful passing around the box, and excellent displays from Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson, stopped Arsene Wenger's men from finding their way through again.
Another disappointment for Arsenal will be that their supporters chose to taunt their former striker Emmanuel Adebayor about the deadly gun attack he survived in 2010.
Villas-Boas, sacked one year ago by Chelsea, will sleep much easier than the beleaguered Wenger knowing that his team are in a very strong position in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Spurs, who moved above Chelsea in to third, are now more than two wins ahead of their bitter north London rivals with 10 games left.
Villas-Boas will remember, of course, that Tottenham surrendered a 10-point lead to Arsenal last year, but this Spurs team is made of stronger stuff and Wenger's side appear to lack the same heart, particularly in defence.
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- Aaron Lennon