The French striker could be under threat should Arsene Wenger manage to bring in a marquee forward, but he proved his worth yet again with a fine goal to win the derby
The France international struck the only goal of the game midway through the first half after cleverly clipping home Theo Walcott's low cross.
Arsenal made two changes to the side that beat Fulham 3-1 last week, with Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere coming in for Bacary Sagna and the injured Lukas Podolski, while new signing Mathieu Flamini – in his second spell with the club – was named on the bench.
Erik Lamela was among the Tottenham substitutes, although fellow new additions Vlad Chiriches and Christian Eriksen were not included in the squad.
|By Greg Stobart
Arsenal fans will tell you that their spirit and determination got them fourth place last season - and they needed those qualities to fight to this victory.
The Gunners were organised defensively, competitive in midfield, and in Olivier Giroud they had the best player on the pitch. The Frenchman scored the eventual winner with a wonderful first-time finish from Theo Walcott’s cross - and Spurs never had the quality to carve out a genuine chance to equaliser despite their late pressure.
A long season lies ahead and on this evidence there will again be little to separate the two rivals at the end of the campaign - but today belongs to Arsenal.
The hosts' dominance looked to have come to an end as Tottenham began to dictate the game and press forward.
However, Andre Villas-Boas' men were undone on the counter-attack after 23 minutes, with Giroud meeting a low near-post cross from Theo Walcott to prod home from point-blank range.
Arsenal wasted no time in attempting to add to their lead, Walcott again causing problems as he burst free down the right wing only to be denied by another athletic save from Lloris.
Aaron Ramsey fired over from distance on the half-hour mark before Lloris had to be fleet of foot to race out of goal and win the ball after Walcott had again broken through the Tottenham backline.
Villas-Boas will have been disappointed by his team's performance at both ends in the first half, with Andros Townsend the only player to force Wojciech Szczesny into a save with a tame effort.
Flamini's comeback came earlier than expected for Arsenal, the Frenchman thrown into the action two minutes before the interval after Jack Wilshere was forced off through injury.
Arsenal's superiority waned somewhat after the break, although Spurs still struggled to create any meaningful chances, Nacer Chadli sending a free kick way over the bar in the early stages of the second period.
Tottenham's lack of creativity was nearly punished again by Giroud, the France international denied by compatriot Lloris, who produced a superb finger-tip save to push the striker's left-footed shot wide of the post.
Lamela was introduced midway through the second half, the former Roma man brought on for Townsend, while Brazilian midfielder Sandro was also thrown into the fray after Etienne Capoue was taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury.
Spurs had their best chance of the game moments later as Szczesny kept out a vicious volley from substitute Jermain Defoe from the edge of the area, with Roberto Soldado's follow up blocked by Giroud.
Giroud almost turned provider as Arsenal launched another excellent counter, the 26-year-old pulling back for Walcott, only for Lloris to keep the deficit at one goal with another fine stop.