Spurs started the day sandwiched between Liverpool and Southampton in sixth with only two points separating the three teams.
The reward for finishing fifth was direct qualification for the Europa League, a competition which has in the past often distracted teams in their bid for a top four spot.
However, its prestige as a competition is growing and the obvious benefits of playing in Europe’s second major competition prompted Mauricio Pochettino to name his best XI and seek victory from the off.
In a highly impressive display, Harry Kane’s first-half header proved to be the winner and the England international told reporters after the game of the importance of claiming all three points.
"The most important thing was the win. We knew Stoke away at Liverpool would be tough for them, we wanted fifth and we got it. I'm delighted to get on scoresheet.
"There's no qualifying game for the Europa League and finishing fifth is not bad anyway. We got to the League Cup final too so it's been a productive season."
It was the 21-year-old’s 31st strike of the season in all competitions and his first in 338 minutes' worth of Premier League action following a dry spell in front of goal.
The North Londoners’ fifth-place was assured by Liverpool’s astonishing 6-1 defeat at Stoke City whereas fellow challengers Southampton were downed 2-0 at Manchester City.
While Pochettino’s side fell five points shy of last season’s total, a League Cup final place plus the breakthrough of a number of youngsters means it has been a solid debut season for the Argentine coach.