Carlton Cole's sensational strike was not enough to stop Tottenham Hotspur leaving east London with all three points.
Cole gave West Ham United the lead just after the interval with an unstoppable half-volley, only to see Jermain Defoe equalise almost straight away. Both sides went all guns blazing for the win but it was the visitors who were to take the spoils after Aaron Lennon fired in the winner with 12 minutes remaining.
Gianfranco Zola was forced into making two changes to the team that impressed in defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening day. Herita Ilunga was missing through the fractured jaw picked up in that game, while Kieron Dyer was forced to sit out with a minor muscle strain. Their absences opened the door for Jonathan Spector to come in at left-back and Junior Stanislas on the left of midfield.
Before the game got under way, stadium announcer Jeremy Nicholas read out a message of support from both clubs for defender Calum Davenport, who was injured in an incident on Friday evening. The message was greeted with applause from fans in all four corners of the ground.
After a cagey start from both sides, Cole gave a glimpse of what was to come on 16 minutes he used his customary strength to out muscle Sebastien Bassong on the halfway line. After racing into the Spurs half, he sent a thunderous volley just over. Moments later, Scott Parker came even closer when his effort from distance was just gathered by Carlo Cudicini.
The game was already being played in beautiful August sunshine and the temperature on the pitch increased further with tackles flying in from both sides. Scott Parker seemed to be particularly enjoying the physical side of the game, making several bone crunching challenges.
Cole had the best chance of the half on 21 minutes when Spector threaded a ball through Jimenez's legs and into the penalty area. The England forward ran onto the pass but Cudicini got just enough on his poked shot to divert it wide of the goal.
It was by no means one way traffic and the 33,095 inside the Boleyn Ground were getting good value for money, with Tom Huddlestone launching a couple of howitzers at goal, the second of which Green had to get down to his left to gather at the second attempt.
Jimenez picked up his first caution in English football for a body check on Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the left touchline. And from the resulting set piece Luka Modric crossed and Spurs captain King sent a looping header that Green could only watch as it hit the crossbar an bounced away.
Modric was looking particularly dangerous and his fast feet presented him with an opening that he could only fire weakly at Green. At the other end, Cole was leading the West Ham line with frightening tenacity. Indeed it was his sheer persistence and strength that helped him hold off both Tottenham central defenders before rolling the ball back to Collison. The Wales international's low shoot seemed destined for the back of the net only for Ledley King to make a superb last ditch tackle.
In the last minute of the half a superb run down the left from Stanislas saw him dart past Corluka and roll a sublime ball across the goal that Cole was just inches away from reaching.
The Hammers had finished the half on top and left the field to rapturous applause from the home support.
The game then burst into life four minutes after the restart with Cole's exquisite opener, which surely will be in the running for goal of the season come May. Standing with his back to goal just outside the penalty area, the 25-year-old striker controlled a ball forward with his right foot and then in the same movement swivelled and hit an unstoppable volley into the top corner with his left.
But just five minutes later Cole's pleasure turned to pain as his attempted pass back towards goal was intercepted by Defoe and he duly smashed the ball past Green to get Spurs back on level terms.
The goal seemed to knock the wind out of West Ham's sails and Green had to be alert to beat Modric's cross-shot away and the Croation international headed wide when he really should have scored moments later.
The home support were adamant they should have had a penalty on 60 minutes when Jimenez appeared to have been sent tumbling in the area by Assou-Ekotto. Referee Mark Clattenburg was quickly on the scene and waved away the howls for a penalty.
The Chilean was in determined mood and only a scrambling save from Cudicini prevented his header from Noble's corner creeping in. Cole nearly grabbed his second a short time later after once again out-powering Assou-Ekotto and flashing a shot narrowly wide.
Radoslav Kovac was then introduced for his first taste of Barclays Premier League football after signing permanantly from Spartak Moscow. The impressive Jimenez, who appeared to have taken a slight knock, was the man to make way.
Lennon delivered the sucker punch to the Hammers after beating Spector on the left, the diminutive winger fired a low shot across Green and into the far corner. Harry Redknapp swapped Robbie Keane and Luka Modric for Peter Crouch as Spurs attempted to consolidate their advantage.
The Hammers desperately tried to get back into the game and threw on Zavon Hines and Frank Nouble. The ploy nearly worked when Collison burst between two defenders but could not quite get enough power to send the ball past Cudicini.
Zola must now ready his troops for another red-hot London derby on Tuesday evening, when Millwall visit the Boleyn Ground in the Carling Cup second round.