It says something about Tottenham's 21-game winless streak against Arsenal that the first time Early Doors felt confident they weren't going to chuck it away last night was when the Gunners needed to score four in stoppage time.
Until then it looked certain we would see another tale of heroic failure. Spurs raced into an early lead, roared on by a White Hart Lane crowd who seemed just a little too enthusiastic for a Carling Cup tie.
It looked like a turning point when the ineffective Denilson went off injured and was replaced by Cesc Fabregas - the perfect example of a supposed positive for Spurs turning out to be anything but.
Arsenal only kept four clean sheets on their mammoth run of derby dominance and came from behind on countless occasions, so the familiar Tottenham collapse looked inevitable. You know - score a couple of goals, hit the post a few times, fall apart.
But the Lillywhites kept on scoring and eventually it dawned on Early Doors: they might just win this.
And win it they did, prompting an angry confrontation between giant strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Adebayor.
It is claimed that Adebayor head-butted the Dane, although the confrontation took place at such altitude nobody can be sure.
Bendtner emerged with a "gashed" (slightly red) nose and William Gallas admitted: "They know they made a mistake and maybe they'll have to speak to the boss now and explain what they did."
A feuding dressing room might seem like the last thing Arsene Wenger needs, but a number of forwards have shown that conflict is no barrier to success.
Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham never spoke off the field after an argument about tracking back at Bolton (it's always the smallest things...) but went on to become one of the Premiership's elite third-choice strike partnerships.
Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose flew in the face of convenient stereotype by both being born in Poland and playing for Germany, but not actually liking each other very much. Still, they helped the hosts finish third at the World Cup.
Romario and Bebeto were World Cup winners in 1994 with Brazil. Early Doors can't be bothered to look it up but seems to remember Romario thinking Bebeto was a bit of a loser with a rubbish baby-rocking celebration.
Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney played with each other for all of a minute at the 2006 World Cup and were certainly not successful. But they did allegedly have a bit of an alleged barney over Rooney's alleged gambling losses.
- - -
An impressive performance from the White Hart Lane faithful might not have tickled the fancy of anyone watching with small children.
If Early Doors had any three-headed offspring, it would have been reaching for a bumper pack of junior earmuffs as a barrage of foul-mouthed chants wafted over the prime-time airwaves.
Example: "My old man said be an Arsenal fan, I said '**** *** ******** you're a ****'."
People talk with misty-eyes about the traditional derby atmosphere as though fans turn up to wave rattles and hold scarves aloft while thoroughly respecting their city rivals.
In reality, "atmosphere" tends to mean unfounded slurs about the opposition's sexual preferences.
- - -
THIS JUST IN: The very definition of flogging a dead horse: Sheffield United have said they are in arbitration over their dispute with West Ham United, which revolves around their relegation last season after the Hammers avoided a points deduction for illegally registering Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. Just do everybody a favour and leave it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Aah, the magic of the Carling Cup! Here's Avram Grant's verdict: "I can't say it means a lot to me. If you could promise me by winning the Carling Cup we'd also take the Champions League, I'd take it."
FOREIGN VIEW: Early Doors' favourite lank-haired German midfielder Torsten Frings and his long-range screamers could miss Euro 2008 after he knacked his knee in training.
COMING UP: Chelsea REALLY want to win the Carling Cup. Follow their semi-final second leg against Everton from 8pm. There is also action from the African Cup of Nations, various domestic cups and even a bonus Serie A game featuring Milan. It is all LIVE on eurosport.yahoo.co.uk!