Crystal Palace v. Tottenham was far from the most enticing or momentous game of a super Sunday in England. And that, in a way, is exactly why the result was so important.
With all eyes on Old Trafford and Wembley, and on the Emirates four days later, Sunday, for Tottenham, was an opportunity. It was an opportunity to make up ground on one, if not both, of the teams immediately above it; to distance itself from the team immediately below it; and to perhaps sneak into the top four and stay there.
For 88 minutes, it looked set to be an opportunity missed. Spurs labored. They missed guilt-edged chances. They made sloppy mistakes. They anticipated whistles that never came.
And then Harry Kane drifted to the back post, fended off a Palace defender, and headed Tottenham to three massive points at Selhurst Park.
All attention quickly turned to the high-profile clash between third-place Manchester United and fourth-place Chelsea immediately afterward. And then it will turn to the League Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester City, the first trophy of the English season set to be handed out. Those two finalists will again do battle in the league on Thursday.
But remember Kane’s goal. Remember those two extra points it won. There’s a very good chance they’re crucial come May.