On an emotional night at Wembley, Dele Alli provided a moment for the friendly between England and France to be remembered for footballing reasons with a sensational first international goal.
The 19-year-old midfielder, making his full Three Lions debut, sent a 25-yard shot flying past Tottenham Hotspur teammate Hugo Lloris in the French net to earn the hosts a 1-0 half-time advantage.
Managers Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps, as well as the Duke of Cambridge, lay down wreathes in a pre-match ceremony to honour the 129 people killed in Friday’s Paris attacks, as BBC Sport reports.
Tributes were also paid by virtue of a minute’s silence, both sets of players linking arms for photographs, and the whole stadium uniting to sing the French national anthem – La Marseillaise – prior to kickoff.
The football was always going to be secondary to the show of European solidarity, but Alli did his best to light up Wembley with a 39th-minute thunderbolt on only his fourth appearance for the senior side.
His stunning goal represents the latest landmark in Alli’s meteoric rise. Just 12 months ago, he was merely a promising youngster at League One side MK Dons and had not played in the Premier League.
But he has already become a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side, starting their last eight league games and scoring two goals. Tonight’s could be the first of many for his country too.
Half-time: England 1-0 France
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