They say there is no such thing as a friendly in professional football and England stuck to that script when goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney defeated France 2-0 on an emotional evening at Wembley Stadium.
Just four days after terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 people and hours after a friendly between Germany and the Netherlands in Hannover was cancelled due to a bomb scare, a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise was followed by a classy joint team photo.
After a bright start, England eventually took the lead in the 31st minute through Alli's superb 25-yard strike. Rooney later volleyed his 51st goal for England shortly after the half-time break when he got on the end of a Raheem Sterling cross.
Roy Hodgson made eight changes to the side that was defeated 2-0 by Spain last week, with Tottenham duo Eric Dier and Alli handed their first starts for the Three Lions.
For France, Didier Deschamps swapped five players from the side that beat Germany amid appalling circumstances in Paris, with Lassana Diarra starting as a substitute just days after his cousin was killed in the attacks.
French tricolours were spread equally amongst a Wembley faithful of 71,223 and a huge France flag paraded across the pitch before kick-off was greeted with applause from all sides of the ground.
Once the action got under way it was France, reportedly reluctant visitors, who showed more intent. Paris Saint Germain's rising star Blaise Matuidi enjoyed time on the ball and it was his pass to Yohan Cabaye that led to the first effort at goal. Joe Hart shot up a precautionary arm as the ball sailed over.
At the other end, Hugo Lloris then gifted the ball to Tottenham team mate Harry Kane, but the England striker's cross towards Rooney, who has scored in each of his past five outings for the national side, was cut out by Varane.
Three minutes later, the Manchester United striker's touch around Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny was too heavy and the ball ran into the path of the sliding Lloris after Nathaniel Clyne had advanced down the right flank.
Antony Martial, who started in a left wing position, showed his intent by bursting forward before cutting onto his preferred right foot. His shot though was easy enough for the diving Hart.
Both sides were content with maintaining possession and fans responded by staging a Mexican wave. Back on the pitch, England almost had a helping hand when Gary Cahill leapt above Raphael Varane deep into the French penalty area but the Chelsea defender's header was cleared before it fell to Ross Barkley.
The best chance of the first half came after after 30 minutes. Kane picked up a ball from Kieran Gibbs, turned in the middle of the pitch and played a through ball to his strike partner Rooney. England's leading goal scorer, who won his 108th cap, had only Koscielny to beat but instead checked onto his left foot to drive wide from 25 yards.
Out of nowhere, but not against the run of play, the deadlock was then broken in spectacular fashion by Alli. The Spurs midfielder, who made his England debut as a second half substitute in the 2-0 defeat to Spain last week, won the ball in the middle of the pitch with a tackle not in keeping with the spirit of the match. Morgan Schneiderlin held his arms in the air but Alli was already advancing towards goal.
With options scant Alli decided to unleash a right footed effort from range that sailed past Spurs team mate Lloris into the top right corner. Replays showed the strike took a slight deflection off Koscielny but Alli's shot seemed destined to find the net regardless.
The goal seemed to move England up a gear. Kane tested Lloris at the near post immediately after the re-start and Gibbs' cross goal-bound looked to be heading into a dangerous territory before it was hastily cleared. Sterling, who sought avenues to run throughout the opening 45 minutes, had an a shot deflected wide of the far post by Varane.
Rooney moved two goals clear of Sir Bobby Charlton as England's top marksman shortly after the half time interval. Sterling found himself in space on the left, looped a cross to the back post where Rooney volleyed into the net off Lloris.
In desperate need of added impetus, Deschamps made a double substitution, Olivier Giroud came on for the ineffectual Andre-Pierre Gignac, while Cabaye made way for the grieving Diarra.
Paul Pogba, who was introduced at the expense of Matuidi, showed signs of his majesty, skimming the roof of the net on the hour mark after digging the ball from beneath his feet from 20 yards.
But it was Martial who perhaps should have pulled one back for the visitors when after playing a neat one-two with the Juventus midfielder could only shoot straight at half-time substitute Jack Butland. It was to be the United forward's final contribution before he was replaced by Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.
Few England fans would have begrudged a French goal to give the travelling fans something to cheer but as the full time whistle rang out it was the away fans who were heard loudest: singing one final La Marseillaise.