We looked like taking a 1-0 advantage into half-time only for Arsenal to level in injury time and then take a 3-1 lead just before the hour.
We hit back for 3-2, Arsenal made it 4-2, we scored again for 4-3, Arsenal netted again for 5-3 only for late hope at 5-4 with minutes left but that was finally the end of the scoring.
In the cold light of day though, we have to look back a three defensive errors that proved so costly and handed Arsenal their second, third and fourth goals.
The game started so well. We enjoyed better possession for the first half-hour and the visitors didn't really look at the races with passes going astray all over the park.
We got the reward we deserved after 36 minutes when Michael Carrick's wonderful in-swinging free-kick found its way to Noureddine Naybet at the far post and he volleyed past Jens Lehmann.
That should have been it but Arsenal managed to equalise in injury time when Thierry Henry got behind the back four, controlled and slid into the corner from close range.
Arsenal forged ahead after 54 minutes with a disappointing goal defensively. Paul Robinson had the ball in his hands, looking fora throw upfield when Ledley King accidently knocked it out. Arsenal got hold of possession and suddenly Freddie Ljungberg was running at Noe Pamarot, into the box and went over under a tangle of legs. It was a penalty and Lauren tucked it away.
It went from bad to worse five minutes later as Naybet lost possession to Patrick Vieira and the Arsenal skipper was able to run past two challenges before finishing well one-on-one, 3-1 down, 59 minutes.
The visitors had barely finished celebrating when we hit back with the goal of the game inside a minute. Jermain Defoe picked the ball up 40 yards out, sped past four or five Arsenal players and curled into the top corner, 3-2, 60 minutes.
We were made to pay for another defensive lapse though eight minutes later as Naybet lost possession again, Francsesc Fabregas fed Ljungberg who beat the flag and slotted past Robinson, 4-2 down, 68 minutes.
We weren't letting go though and found a way back when Carrick delivered another delicious set-piece that King headed beyond Lehmann, 4-3 down, 73 minutes.
Arsenal soon extended their two-goal lead when Henry cut in from the right, Edman superbly blocked hit shot only for the French striker to retain possession and slip in Robert Pires to finish from a tight angle, 5-3 down, 80 minutes.
Still we fought back. Henry gave the ball away to Reto Ziegler and he lofted the ball perfectly into the path of Fredi Kanoute to volley home past Lehmann for 5-4, 87 minutes on the clock and a grandstand finish.
Anthony Gardner came on as a makeshift striker but numerous balls to the target men came to nothing and the last chance fell to Simon Davies, 25 yards out and he drilled the ball wide.
GUIDE TO THE ACTION
4mins: Defoe break, left side of area, picked out Mendes run from deep far post, volleyed into ground straight at Lehmann.
9mins: Ziegler free-kick just over the heads of Naybet and King. Decent start, more possession, Arsenal passing slightly off off in early stages.
17mins: Defoe left Cygan in a heap on right touchline, cut in, tried to pick out Keane but Lehmann there to bravely block at feet.
22mins: Carrick bobbled volley wide from half-cleared free-kick.
30mins: Bergkamp half-chance from Reyes deflected cross, didn't get hold of volley.
30mins: Bergkamp sliced half-volley wide from 20 yards after corner cleared.
32mins: Ljungberg beat offside trap, right flank, drove ball across six-yard line but Reyes arrived too late.
34mins: Wonderful in-swinging free-kick from Carrick, left flank, Arsenal did well to clear.
36mins: GOAL. Identical Carrick in-swinging free-kick from left, Vieira missed under pressure from King, Naybet volleyed home at far post.
Spurs 1, Arsenal 0
36mins: YELLOW. Naybet during celebrations.
37mins: SAVE. Ziegler free-kick this time headed towards own goal by Vieira, Lehmann up to it and tipped over at full stretch.
41mins: YELLOW. Ziegler for foul on Lauren.
Injury time: GOAL. Ball played in from right, Henry beyond defence, controlled and slotted into corner. 1-1.
Spurs 1, Arsenal 1
Half-time: Spurs 1, Arsenal 1
47mins: CHANCE. Ljungberg cross from right flank missed by King, Reyes, in front of goal, dallied and Pamarot did enough to put off shot.
50mins: Brown charged down Toure clearance, Mendes onto loose ball, low cross cleared off Defoe's toe by Lauren.
52mins: Everyone seemed to leave Reyes in-swinging corner, Cygan attacked from deep, half-volleyed over at far post.
54mins: PENALTY. All stemmed from defensive mix-up as King accidently knocked ball out of Robinson' hands, appeals for offside as Ljungberg received ball, tangle of legs with Pamarot although it looked a penalty. Lauren slotted from spot.
Spurs 1, Arsenal 2
56mins: Defoe cut in from left, corner of box, shot deflected into side-netting.
58mins: YELLOW. Brown for foul on Vieira.
59mins: GOAL. Vieira won ball off Naybet, skipped through a couple of tackles, finished coolly.
Spurs 1, Arsenal 3
60mins: GOAL. Magnificent effort from Defoe. Picked up ball 40 yards out, ran past five Arsenal players, curled into top corner.
Spurs 2, Arsenal 3
67mins: SUBS. Davies for Mendes; Pires for Reyes.
68mins: GOAL. Another defensive lapse, Fabregas fed Ljungberg, no offside, finished one-on-one.
Spurs 2, Arsenal 4
73mins: GOAL. Lauren foul on Defoe on left touchline, Carrick in-swinging free-kick from, King planted header beyond Lehmann.
Spurs 3, Arsenal 4
75mins: SAVE. Henry free-kick from left went through everyone and needed Robinson to flick around post.
75mins: SUB. Kanoute for Brown.
78mins: Carrick sliced wide from 25 yards.
80mins: GOAL. Brilliant block from Edman to deny Henry but he picked up ball again, fed Pires who scored from angle.
Spurs 3, Arsenal 5
80mins: SUB. Van Persie for Bergkamp.
87mins: GOAL. Henry gave ball away, Ziegler onto it, lovely dink into Kanoute who finished with side-foot volley.
Spurs 4, Arsenal 5
89mins: SUB. Gardner for Keane.
Injury time: Davies drilled shot just wide from 25 yards.
Full-time: Spurs 4, Arsenal 5
Line-ups: Spurs (4-4-2): Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman; Mendes (Davies, 67), Brown (Kanoute, 75), Carrick, Ziegler; Keane (Gardner, 89), Defoe. Subs: Fulop, Redknapp.
Arsenal: Lehmann, Cole, Cygan, Toure, Lauren, Vieira, Fabregas, Ljungberg, Reyes (Pires, 67), Bergkamp (van Persie, 80), Henry. Subs: Almunia, Flamini, Hoyte.
Referee: Steve Bennett
Martin Jol went through all the emotions in his first North London derby as an amazing encounter went the way of Arsenal at the Lane on Saturday.