After 45 minutes, Arsenal were ahead with a Thierry Henry goal that started from our throw-in, had two goals disallowed, another chance hacked off the line and we were down to 10 men with Simon Davies off for two yellow cards, the first for a supposed foul on Ashley Cole that was questionable to say the least.
Where could we go from here? The last thing we needed was to concede early in the second half, but the second goal arrived just nine minutes after the break.
There was certainly no shortage of passion but, from there, it was uphill to say the least.
The early exchanges were fiesty, as expected, as the home side got on the front foot.
Sylvain Wiltord had a goal flagged offside after three minutes, Kasey Keller denied Freddie Ljungberg two minutes later with Ledley King back to clear Henry's follow up off the line.
Henry's opener arrived after unlucky 13 minutes. Steffen Freund took a throw deep in Arsenal territory, the ball was headed clear to the Frenchman who took off on a run, held off Matty Etherington and was suddenly on the edge of our box. Faced with Steve Carr and King, he jinked left before driving low into the corner.
We carved out our best chance after 20 minutes as Carr's long ball released Davies down the right channel, the Welshman crossed invitingly for Keane but the striker failed to get a decent contact on the header.
The whole complexion of the game would soon take a turn for the worse though.
A few meaty challenges had gone in unpunished when Mike Riley decided he'd had enough and finally brandished a yellow to Davies for a non-existant foul on Cole.
Five minutes later, and with just 29 on the clock, Davies was off after catching Vieira a fraction late. Suffice to say, the home side dominated the rest of the half and had another goal ruled out for offside, this time via Henry.
Gus Poyet replaced Etherington at half-time as we attempted to get back into the game.
Unfortunately, any hopes on that front were quickly extinguished when Redknapp was brushed off the ball by Ljungberg, a possible foul and the Swede was there to tap home after Henry turned King and laid it on a plate.
Our best chance of the game came on the hour. Richards drove forward, Poyet put him through but his dink over Shaaban didn't have enough pace to reach the goal.
Arsenal made it 3-0 with 20 minutes left. Pires put Henry through, Keller saved the initial chance but Pires latched onto the loose ball and handed Wiltord to fire home from five yards. And that was that.
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE GUIDE TO THE ACTION
2mins: First shot of contest, Gilberto 20-yarder, comfortable save for Keller to his left.
2mins: Play straight up other end, similar effort from Redknapp, 22 yards, again comfortable for Shaaban.
3mins: GOAL DISALLOWED. Cole cross turned in by Wiltord but flag up early.
5mins: SAVE/OFF LINE. Bergkamp threaded ball through to Ljungberg, through one-on-one, Keller saved with feet and King back to clear Henry follow up off the line.
13mins: GOAL. From our throw, Henry ran practically the length of the pitch, held off tracking Etherington, jinked past Carr and finished low inside post from 16 yards. 0-1.
20mins: Long pass from King released Davies, right-hand side, cross found Keane who failed to make decent connection with header from eight yards.
23mins: YELLOW. Davies for apparent foul on Cole.
27mins: SUB. Pires for Bergkamp.
28mins: YELLOW/RED. Davies off for second yellow, foul on Vieira.
32mins: GOAL DISALLOWED. Pires cross turned in by Henry but flag up.
34mins: Sheringham audacious attempt at lob from 45 yards easy for Shaaban.
44mins: Pires free-kick drifted a fraction wide.
45mins: Henry shot straight at Keller.
Half-time: Arsenal 1-0 Spurs
Half-time: SUB. Poyet for Etherington.
49mins: YELLOW. Poyet for foul on Vieira.
54mins: GOAL. Redknapp crowded out by Ljungberg, found Henry, he beat King before laying it on a plate for Ljungberg. 0-2.
60mins: CHANCE. Richards forray forward, carried on his run and put through by Poyet, clipped the ball over Shaaban but didn't have enough pace to reach the goal.
61mins: Passage of passes ended with Pires lob from 25 yards landing on roof of net.
65mins: SUBS. Iversen and Anderton on for Sheringham and Redknapp.
70mins: GOAL. Pires put Henry through, Keller out to save initial chance but Pires onto rebound, squared to Wiltord who finished from five yards. 0-3.
75mins: SUB. Jeffers for Henry.
78mins: SUB. Van Bronckhorst for Vieira.
79mins: Anderton free-kick, 22 yards out, punched clear by Shaaban.
Line-ups: Arsenal: Shaaban, Cole, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst, 78), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires, 28), Wiltord, Henry (Jeffers, 75), Cygan, Gilberto, Luzhny, Campbell. Subs: Taylor, Toure.
Spurs: Keller, Carr, Freund, Bunjevcevic, Sheringham (Iversen, 69), Redknapp (Anderton, 69), Keane, King, Etherington (Poyet, 45), Davies, Richards. Subs: Perry, Hirschfeld.
A derby to forget.