(CNN) -- Arsenal's hopes of winning the English Premier League title appear over after a damaging 2-1 defeat at bitter north London rivals Tottenham, who keep alive their hopes of claiming the fourth Champions League place.
Despite enjoying plenty of first-half possession, Arsenal could not find their way past a stubborn Tottenham defense and the home side took the lead with a wonder goal from debutant Danny Rose.
Teenage midfielder Rose reacted first to goalkeeper Manuel Almunia's punch out, hammering an unstoppable 10th minute volley into the roof of the net.
And Tottenham increased their lead in the first minute of the second half when the Arsenal offside trap was exposed and Gareth Bale found himself in space to slot the ball past Almunia.
Arsenal introduced striker Robin van Persie as a substitute with 25 minutes remaining.
The Dutchman has been out of action since injuring his ankle playing for the Netherlands last November and his entrance immediately gave the visitors more thrust in attack.
They eventually pulled a goal back when Nicklas Bendtner prodded home Theo Walcott's right-wing cross.
However, Tottenham held on for a famous win, their first over the Gunners since 1999, to put a new perspective on the title race.
With four games remaining, Chelsea are four points clear of Manchester United, with Arsenal six points behind their London rivals in third place.
Meanwhile, in the race for fourth place, Tottenham now lie just one point behind Manchester City, although both teams still have five matches left.
In the evening's two other matches, Aston Villa and Everton played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, which leaves them sixth and seventh in the table respectively.
Tom Cahill headed Everton into a 23rd-minute lead from Leighton Baines' cross but Villa levelled with another header, Gabriel Agbonlahor glancing home James Milner's cross.
Australian midfielder Cahill added his second when converting Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's corner but Villa claimed an injury time draw when Everton central defender Phil Jagielka deflected the ball into his own net.
Meanwhile, Wigan remain in relegation trouble towards the foot of the table after drawing 0-0 with already-relegated Portsmouth.