The second-half followed a similar pattern. Saka was again to benefit from a Romero error, calmly despatching the penalty awarded after the Spurs player had handled on the line.
The hosts would only retain their lead for 98 seconds this time, as a mistake from Jorginho set Son through to equalise once more.
Substitutions for both sides took the sting out of the game and, despite a string of corners for Arsenal in the last 10 minutes, for now the two sides will have settle to share the territory north of the river.
Star men standout
In one of the biggest games in the calendar for both North London clubs, it was the big names who stepped up to lead by example.
The fan's favourite took the initiative to cut inside and fire off a shot to force an error from Romero and put Arsenal 1-0 up.
Having had the run of the right-wing all first-half, the goal seemed inevitable as Udogie backed away and Saka was left in acres of space to curl goalwards.
Acutely aware of the stakes of this derby, Saka was responsible for the delivery of a corner which caused enough commotion in the box for Romero's arm to find itself in the way of a shot from Ben White.
Yet in the white corner of North London, Tottenham had their own answer to a fairytale contributor.
Step up Son Heung-Min.
Having lost attacking partner, Harry Kane, in the summer you would be forgiven for thinking Son too may lose his pre-eminence.
But stepping into the role of captain and taking Maddison to be his Robin, Son produced a talismanic performance to earn a point to take home to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Spurs forward first pulled his side level directing a shot of pinpoint accuracy to the far-post following a ball from sidekick Maddison.
He would repeat the feat again when Maddison won possession from Jorginho inside the Arsenal half before off-loading to Son to pass the ball past the stranded David Raya.
It was truly a game for the heroes.
Arsenal left to rue missed chances
Arteta had commented midweek the need to be more clinical in the wake of Arsenal's Champions League encounter with PSV Eindhoven.
He will certainly have had that reinforced today after the Gunners looked to be missing the cutting-edge provided by an out and out striker.
Perhaps exemplified in the 31st minute when Gabriel Jesus had done all the hardwork to force a turnover from Maddison just inside the Spurs box.
The Arsenal forward had put himself through on goal, only to blaze his effort over the crossbar and scupper the chance to double the deficit.
It was a miss that shifted the balance of play and allowed Tottenham to regain a foothold that they would go on to make pay.
Jesus was supposedly the answer to Arsenal's absence of an out-and-out striker but the ex-Man City man has proved erratic and unreliable with his finishing.
Such a problem was reinforced in the closing stages of the match when, despite a flurry of corners and tantalising crosses, Arsenal still could not find the back of the net.
Fellow striker Eddie Nketiah was found off the pace as a ball flew in front of him as he lingered just too far from the backpost.
It will remain a worry for Arteta that his strikers seem to lack that potent instinct infront of goal and it may well have cost the Gunners the match today.
Substitutes impactful for the wrong reason
Think about the super-sub. A game-changer. A hero for his side. Coming on to change the flow of the match and set the crowd alive.
Arteta is such a fan he refers to his players as 'starters' and 'finishers' rather than substitutes.
Yet today, the substitutes were not to be lauded for either team.
With Declan Rice forced to be withdrawn at half-time, it was Jorginho who stepped in to fill the shoes of Arsenal's star signing.
It was also Jorginho found chasing the heels of Maddison having been caught in possession in a dangerous area, a turnover that led to Tottenham's final equaliser.
Now the game is poised on the brink of a winner in one of the most fiercely contested Premier League derbies. Two teams in form going toe-to-toe.
In the ferocity of the match, Saka is victim to a number of strong challenges and one from Udogie proves too much. Yet instead of replacing the hobbling star on his third match of the week, Arteta hauls of Jesus to make way for Reiss Nelson.
A team chasing a winner now with a player struggling to continue.
It seems Ange Postecoglou was not appetised by a fight to the line, pulling Maddison and Son just a minute after seemed like a resignation to dropping points in the derby.
Saka eventually had to exit the field with fellow Hale End graduate, Emile Smith-Rowe taking his place.
So it was that after mistakes and injury, the North London Derby hobbled to a fitful close without the firepower that might have spelled a game-changing winner
The 'Game of Comebacks' did not disappoint
Inside the last five years there have been five encounters between the two North London teams which has seen one side come from behind to salvage points.
Taking this into account, it seems less surprising that today's match included two equalisers from the Lilywhites.
It will be the white side of London who are left feeling it was a point earnt rather than a point dropped as they fell behind twice in the thrilling encounter.
But it must be the neutrals left to enjoy this match the most. Once again, it produced a tenacious contest between two teams vying for territory and a place at the top of the Premier League.
For fans involved it was more than a nervy watch as both teams clung to a point, near misses at both ends and local bragging rights at stake.
Whilst neither team managed to muster a winner to snatch the three points, once more the North London derby delivered for goals and drama in fashion.