As Stuart O’Keefe curled his effort in the 92nd minute over the keeper and into the net, Selhurst went into raptures and an atmosphere that had been excellent for the previous 91 minutes became ecstatic.
Mixed within the celebrations was also a hint of relief, as supporters and players alike knew the importance attached to this game, even at this early stage in the season. Three points against relegation rivals is always a must at home, and the Eagles delivered.
At times it was not always the best, misplaced passes giving away possession and a spell around the time of the Sunderland equaliser where although no real threats were created the away side certainly grew in confidence.
But looking at the game as a whole Palace were certainly deserved victors. It was pleasing that players seemed to want to shoot from distance whenever they could, as this has arguably not happened enough in the last couple of seasons.
Of course there were occasions when a pass would have been better than a shot but the fact they had the confidence to try is encouraging.
Another area of encouragement was the way the team counter-attacked – directly and at speed, getting around the Sunderland box as quickly as possible.
Quite a bit of media attention focused on the O’Shea red card as the turning point, which it was in the sense that it provided us with the penalty to retake the lead.
But the way Palace were playing, with still ten minutes to go and the fans becoming more vociferous in their support, it seemed like they would go on to win. The performance was rewarded with the victory, and this was topped off with O’Keefe’s winner.
No-one will know if this ever would have happened were it not for the red card, but the fact remains that not only were Palace able to get their noses back in front but also see out the game and add a third.
Importantly for Palace, and noted by Holloway in his post-match interview, this goal took the Eagles back to zero goal difference. It won’t mean anything yet but in this league could play a big part come May, just ask Manchester City fans.
The win was also important because it was televised and the team now goes in to the international break on a high, rather than having to wait to put things right on the pitch. The team can now use these three points to build on.
With Manchester United away next it is going to be very difficult to get anything, but for the optimists out there they will see this as a good time to play United both on our side and theirs. We’ll find out next weekend.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987