TOTTENHAM - And then there were four.
The win was scrappy, fingernails were gnawed to the bone and nerves frayed just as fast as their formation, but Arsenal held on for perhaps their most pivotal Premier League victory.
The title race is going down to the wire.
The three points won at White Hart Lane on Monday morning (Singapore time) were as precious as they were plucky.
Four teams are still contending for the crown. This is Game of Thrones with boots instead of blades.
Arsenal are still alive, just as Tottenham's Champions League hopes appear to be flat-lining.
Even Tim Sherwood's incessant fistpumping might not be enough to find a pulse and a passion for the top-four challenge now.
Arsene Wenger has tasted north Lon- don derby victories in the past, but few as sweet as this.
He sent out a patched-up squad to pick off their oldest enemies and they prevailed. Just.
It wasn't always pretty. At times, it was uglier than Cinderella's sisters but they'll be no complaints from Wenger.
Arsenal could still go to the championship ball in a fairy-tale ending.
Certainly, their passage to victory was earned by a moment of magic that belonged in a Disney classic.
By the 72nd second, the Gunners were ahead through a strike that appeared to defy the eye and make a mockery of gravity.
After a neat one-two with Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky ran onto the return pass, galloping into the box from the right flank.
His effort mimicked a rocket launcher, his first-time angled, swerving drive arrowed past Hugo Lloris, threatening to drill its way through the top corner of the net.
The Czech playmaker's timing was exquisite; the technique flawless. Such a finish is usually fashioned only on a PlayStation controller.
Arsenal have never scored a faster goal against Tottenham in the Premier League. Rosicky will never score a better one. When Oxlade-Chamberlain broke from his own penalty box and pulled clear off Tottenham's midfield and defence like a thoroughbred gliding past three-legged donkeys, the home side were in danger of unravelling within 15 minutes.
But Oxlade-Chamberlain lost his cool and squandered the chance. In the dugout, Sherwood lost his cool and screwed up his jacket, throwing it at the bench.
The item of clothing is known as a gilet, a sleeveless waistcoat, which is ironic because the Spurs boss defines the "rolling the sleeves up" cliche of a British manager.