There were five goals disallowed, red cards for Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie, injuries to James Maddison and Micky Van de Ven, and plenty more beyond that, as Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed a successful return to north London, though it was far less comfortable than the scoreline suggested.
Dejan Kulusevski gave the hosts an early lead, and Spurs looked well capable of running away with it in the opening exchanges, but Chelsea grew into it the more frantic things became. Romero saw red as Cole Palmer equalised from the penalty spot, with Udogie then sent-off too after the break. Tottenham threatened to hold on, but Jackson netted a second-half hat-trick as the space opened up to finally down the hosts.
It leaves Spurs a point off the top of the table, but with concerns over suspensions and injuries, while Chelsea lifted themselves into the top half.
A truly chaotic first-half began in perfect fashion for Tottenham, as they flew out of the blocks. Kulusevski's strike took a big deflection off Levi Colwill and left Robert Sanchez helpless, and Spurs then threatened to take complete control. Heung-min Son thought he had doubled the lead, only for the offside flag to rule out his finish.
The madness then really began, as Destiny Udogie avoided a red card after a VAR check on his two-footed lunge, before Romero also got away with a kick out off the ball. Raheem Sterling appeared to have equalised amid that madness, only for a handball to be spotted as it was chalked off.
Moises Caicedo lashed a strike into the bottom corner from distance as the celebrations in the away end started again, but once more they were cut short. It was deemed Nicolas Jackson was offside in the build-up, but VAR then sent referee Michael Oliver to the monitor to pass judgement on a wild challenge from Romero.
He returned to point to the spot and show Romero a straight red card, with Palmer just about converting the penalty as Guglielmo Vicario turned the ball onto the inside of the post but not away to safety.
Jackson had the ball in the net for Chelsea again, but the offside flag soon reappeared, and the half continued to take a barely believable turn for Spurs as Micky van de Ven pulled up with a hamstring injury and James Maddison was also forced off.
Things did not particularly improve after the break for them either, as they were reduced to nine men within ten minutes of the restart. Udogie flew in to make a ridiculous challenge while already on a booking, bringing down Sterling and earning himself a second yellow card.
Spurs continued to hold an incredibly high line, standing on the halfway line and letting Vicario sweep things up everytime Chelsea tried, unsuccessfully, to break the trap. After a constant stream of offsides, the Blues finally did time the run and the pass to send Marc Cucurella clean through on goal, but Vicario stepped up to produce a superb save.
But, as Spurs began to increasingly dream of holding out for an extraordinary point, Chelsea cracked the code. Sterling was played in, he squared it for Jackson and the Blues striker made no mistake as the goal finally came.
There was still time for more drama, with Eric Dier lashing home a stunning volley to briefly spark bedlam in the stands, but, in keeping with the rest of the night, the offside flag was raised and VAR eventually confirmed that decision.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Heung-min Son had chances too to equalise, but Spurs' race was finally run in stoppage-time. Conor Gallagher charged through and squared for Jackson to sweep home for his second, before the striker ensured he would be taking home the match ball as he strolled into the box, sat Vicario down and rolled the ball into an empty net.