Arsene Wenger admitted it was frustrating to lose another big game following Arsenal's defeat at White Hart Lane but rejected suggestions that Tottenham Hotspur were now the top team in North London.
Spurs had offered little as an attacking force before goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in a decisive spell just before half-time.
The Gunners pulled a goal back when Per Mertesacker's header was deflected in but they could not salvage a point and Wenger was again left to bemoan defensive mistakes.
"It is difficult to swallow a defeat like that because of the effort we put in," he told Sky Sports.
"We made it difficult for ourselves. They had no shots on goal and then we were down 2-0.
"We came back in the second half and dominated the game again, but it was difficult to get a flow in the final 20 minutes because there were a lot of stops and we didn't find a second goal."
The result left Arsenal five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and seven behind Spurs, but Wenger ...