|Dele Alli scored a spectacular goal as England beat France on an emotional display of solidarity at Wembley on Tuesday night.|
Both teams came together before the game to show their respect for the people of Paris following the attacks on the French capital last Friday with a group photo to the applause of a red, white and blue crowd.
As the game got underway, Alli grabbed the opener before the break with a stunning 25 yard thunderbolt which clubmate Hugo Lloris could not get near.
Wayne Rooney added the second with a well-taken volley minutes after half time, but despite an improved performance from the Three Lions, it was the event and not the result which took on the greatest of importance.
The pre-match formalities were observed impeccably on an touching night in London, as both sets of players came together to observe a truly moving minute silence after the tragic events where 129 people were killed in Paris on Friday night.
Despite the poignant scenes prior to kick off, any suggestions the game would be uncompetitive were immediately dismissed with some crunching tackles flying in in the midfield.
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial looked electric up against Nathanial Clyne when he zoomed away from the Liverpool defender for the first attempt on Joe Hart’s goal of the night.
Rooney had a great chance on 32 minutes when Harry Kane found his captain who bamboozled Laurent Koscielny before sending the ball inches wide of the left post.
However, five minutes before half time England struck through a spectacular Alli goal, with the Tottenham youngster – on his first start for his country – crashing the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
The first half was the best performance Wembley had seen from the home side in a long while and it got better after the break with Alli again involved.
The 19-year-old robbed Paul Pogba of the ball in midfield before finding Raheem Sterling on the left, whose cross was met with a fantastically timed volley from Wayne Rooney – his 51st goal in an England shirt.
There was a standing ovation as Lassana Diarra was introduced; only days after his cousin was killed in the attacks in Paris. Antoine Griezmann, whose sister escaped the attack on the Bataclan threatre, came on to a similar reception.
Moments later Pogba had France’s best chance of the game with a whipping and dipping effort which grazed the roof of substitute Jack Butland’s goal.
Pogba began to show his class as he linked brilliantly with Martial, but the Manchester United man could only fire straight at Butland.
The game trickled out as a contest as the substitutions increased, but it was the strength of football coming together under the devastating circumstances which was the headline maker.
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