The damage was done in the first half as the Gunners ran riot, Hugo Lloris’ terrible own goal putting them in front before Martin Odegaard continued his sensational form and doubled the lead before the break.
The expected Tottenham second-half charge came at points, but Arsenal held firm to pick up their first away win at Spurs since 2014, one that further strengthens their title credentials.
The Gunners made a strong start to the match and deservedly took the lead, albeit in slightly bizarre circumstances. Bukayo Saka, not for the first or last time, got the better of Ryan Sessegnon, fired a ball into the six-yard box and Lloris let it squirm through him and into his own net.
Heung-min Son was denied by Aaron Ramsdale but on the whole it was complete dominance from Arsenal. Thomas Partey was denied a stunning goal when his volley smashed back off the post, though the visitors did not have to wait long for their second.
Again Saka was involved, bringing the ball forward on the right. He played it inside to Odegaard, who let fly from just outside the area and found the bottom corner.
Harry Kane had a header saved seconds before half-time and it was a sign of things to come after the break, as once again Spurs returned to the pitch a completely different side.
The England captain saw his strike parried away by Ramsdale, before the Arsenal goalkeeper produced an even better save to turn Ryan Sessegnon’s effort wide. Dejan Kulusevski then twice threatened to find the top corner with a curling strike.
But Arsenal managed to weather the storm and gradually reclaimed control of proceedings, with Nketiah missing a big chance to put the game to bed as Granit Xhaka played him through on goal.
Spurs produced another spell of pressure late on, as Richarlison and Son went close, but it was too little too late as yet another timid start to a match proved costly for Antonio Conte’s side.