The young right-back wrong-footed Wojciech Szczesny with a long-range strike to seal the grudge match, after the Dutchman allegedly handled for the opener and should have seen red
Tottenham started the brightest, and Wojciech Szczesny was called into action after five minutes when Alex Song gave the ball away softly, allowing van der Vaart to feed Scott Parker, whose shot was tame and duly saved.
At the end of a fast-paced but chance-thin opening twenty minutes, Gareth Bale stole Aaron Ramsey’s attempted past and skipped 60 yards in the blink of an eye before pulling it back to van der Vaart on the edge of the area, but the Dutchman’s unorthodox finish went innocuously over the bar.
The Gunners should have had the lead, though, when a marvelously strong surge into the box from van Persie dragged two defenders with him before he gave it to Gervinho, who had most of the goal to aim at cutting in from the left but dragged his shot wide and out of harm’s way.
With the half drawing to a close, Tottenham broke with Defoe through the middle, who fed Adebayor. The Togolese then lofted a ball just through Arsenal’s high defensive line for van der Vaart, who chested down and evaded his marker to deliver a calm, left-footed finish into the far corner.
After the break, both Bale and Luka Modric had sights of goal but Arsenal made a vital early strike. Coming forward after an initial attack was rebuffed, Alex Song pushed down the left. Afforded acres of space by the Spurs defenders, he had an easy time of crossing across the face of goal, with Ramsey waiting to tap it in for the equalizer.
With just over twenty minutes remaining, Tottenham recaptured its advantage out of nowhere when a poor clearance out of the Arsenal box found Kyle Walker rushing forward, and the right-back took a first-time snap-shot from outside the box. It caught Szczesny by surprise and sailed under his outstretched arms to delight the home fans.
The visitors kept plugging away but found no openings, with Spurs the more threatening on the counter, Bale in particular a nuisance on the left flank. No Arsenal response was forthcoming, and White Hart Lane exploded in celebration as the final whistle confirmed their bragging rights.