England and France came together at Wembley to honour the victims of the Paris attacks on a night when the result – 2-0 to the hosts – was always going to be secondary to the show of European solidarity.
Dele Alli put the Three Lions ahead at the break with a sensational first international goal, before Wayne Rooney sealed a subdued victory with this smart back-post volley from Raheem Sterling’s cross.
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Managers Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps, as well as the Duke of Cambridge, lay down wreathes in a pre-match ceremony in memory of the 129 people killed in Paris on Friday, 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.
Although irrelevant in the grander scheme of things, England’s performance against an understandably distracted France would have been very pleasing for Hodgson, particularly that of 19-year-old Alli.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, making his full debut for the senior side, broke down play excellently in the centre of the park and always made an effort to get into the box and join in attacks.
His highlight contribution though was, of course, the 25-yard thunderbolt which flew past Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris and into the top corner of the French net to give England a 39th-minute lead.
England were two up three minutes after the restart. Alli started the move by releasing Sterling, who stood a cross up to the far post for Rooney to steer home for his record-extending 51st Three Lions goal.
Paul Pogba’s introduction helped France provide more of an attacking threat. Manchester United starlet Anthony Martial had their best chance but was well thwarted by substitute goalkeeper Jack Butland.
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