Heading into the match, Tim Sherwood wanted his team to give a reaction after sobering defeats to Chelsea and Benfica. Arsenal were beaten against FC Bayern Munich in the Champions League midweek and also needed to bounce back. Liverpool's 3-0 destruction of Manchester United at Old Trafford also meant that both sides needed to win to keep their seasons alive.
Spurs, so badly out of form, needed a performance as much as a win, and Arsenal needed to keep their North London rivals at arm's length.
But in the North London derby, everything goes out the window.
Arsenal and Spurs have an incredible rivalry that dates all the way back to the early part of the 20th Century, when Arsenal moved from South to North London, annoying their new neighbors. Since then they have played 174 times, and no top-flight rivalry has featured more goals.
The game started at a frantic pace, with Tottenham tearing into the Gunners, but it was Arsenal who drew early blood when Rosicky's tremendous shot found the inside of the far post from the right-hand side of the box. It was a truly exceptional goal from the 33-year-old Czech international.
For the second time this season against Spurs, the Gunners finished on the losing end of possession. Andre Villas-Boas' Spurs team recorded 57 per cent possession in September and more shots on goal. Today, Sherwood's team recorded 59 per cent possession and more shots on goal.
However, once again, it was the disciplined Gunners that claimed all three points.
Here, Bleacher Report offers six things we learned from the match.