Awide-open North London derby fizzing with tension and littered with errors highlighted flaws that show why Arsenal and Tottenham are some way off challenging for the Premier League title.
A 2-2 draw allowed the neighbours, though, to take some comfort yesterday heading into the international break by avoiding back-to-back Premier League losses.
While Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino continues to fuel a sense of unease around the club, counterpart Unai Emery is working on forging stability at Arsenal.
Tottenham rued throwing away a two-goal lead built by Christian Eriksen's tap-in after Bernd Leno's weak parrying of Erik Lamela's shot and Harry Kane's penalty after Granit Xhaka's foolhardy challenge on Son Heung-min.
"We played with our heart, sometimes more than our head," Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. "We need the balance. We need to be clearer in our mind. We made some mistakes."
So did Tottenham. Alexandre Lacazette, in a front three alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and off-season signing Nicolas Pepe, began the Arsenal comeback in first-half stoppage time by exploiting Tottenham's frailties in defence where Davinson Sanchez was the makeshift right back.
"I was a little bit ashamed to concede before halftime," Pochettino said.
And Aubameyang was gifted space to drift through the defence to meet Matteo Guendouzi's pass to recover the point in the 71st minute.
"I'm a little disappointed," said Tottenham striker Harry Kane. "When you go 2-0 up, you expect to win, whoever you are playing."
Not perhaps when you are a Tottenham side visiting the Emirates Stadium, where they have not won in the league since 2010.
But Eriksen starting the game pointed to a future at Tottenham beyond the closure of key transfer markets on the continent today after an off-season of uncertainty.
And four matches into the season, Tottenham have left champions Manchester City and Arsenal with draws after losing both away games against them last season.
Not that Pochettino, who took Tottenham to their first Champions League final last season, feels very upbeat — after talking about being a "clown" who masks his emotions and adding to the sense all is not harmonious at a club where finances are more restricted than top-four rivals.
"I wasn't happy," Pochettino said reflecting on the off-season after that final loss to Liverpool. "I was a little bit worried about the situation because we knew very well what is going on. But now I am optimistic and happy."
What helps Spurs is that Chelsea and Manchester United also dropped points when they both drew on Sunday. But there is a familiar look in the early standings, with Liverpool leading the way after winning four out of four and champions Manchester City two points behind.
• Like Tottenham, Everton threw away a lead — twice — but still came out on top. Bookending Alex Iwobi's goal, Richarlison scored the first and last goals in a 3-2 home victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves twice drew level from Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez but are still waiting for their first win of the league campaign.