Andre Villas-Boas decided to start the Togolese striker alongside Jermain Defoe in a bold switch to a 442 formation but in a mad seven minute spell the striker scored and then was sent off and Spurs failed to recover.
Tottenham grabbed the lead after just ten minutes, as Jermain Defoe’s tame shot was parried straight in to the path of Adebayor who, in a north London derby, was not going to miss an open goal from four-yards.
But after 17 minutes as he went in late on Santi Cazorla and received a straight red card for his troubles which, against his former club, delighted the home crowd.
Inevitably Spurs dropped back to defend and Arsenal stepped up the pace of the game and with 24 minutes gone the hosts levelled.
The French goalkeeper then ensured the scores remained level moments later when he produced a fine save from compatriot Olivier Giroud’s header, but Arsenal wouldn’t be stopped as Spurs fell to pieces in defence.
And right on half time Giroud made it 3-1 to Arsenal as he fired home Cazorla’s cross from the left.
After the break Andre Villas-boas displayed some of the tactical nous which won him so many fans at Porto by substituting Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton, bringing on Michael Dawson and Clint Dempsey, and switching to a 3-5-1 formation.
And it appeared to bring Spurs back in to the game but, after a quick counter attack on the hour-mark, Cazorla was left all alone at the back post to tuck home Podolski’s low left-wing cross.
But in injury time Theo Walcott made it 5-2 to seal the victory. Fed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the England winger delicately rolled the ball past Lloris.