England manager Roy Hodgson on Tuesday (17 November) spoke of the heavy emotional overtones at the international friendly with France, describing the night as "poignant". England beat France 2-0 at Wembley when 71,000 fans paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks with English fans roaring to a spine-tingling rendition of the visitors' national anthem.
The supporters of both teams also impeccably observed a minute's silence to honour the victims ahead of a match that will be remembered more for the symbolic nature of the occasion than for most of the action on the pitch. Played just four days after the Islamic State's assault in Paris left 129 people dead, the English fans, along with the away supporters, showed remarkable dignity and respect.
England manager Roy Hodgson called Tuesday night's remembrance "a very poignant occasion". The players were led on to the field by Prince William and Hodgson and Deschamps carried wreaths while fans waved the tricolour.
"Seventy one thousand is a great crowd, I thought that they played their part in respecting the ceremony and also played their part in helping our team to perform as it did," he said.
After kick-off, although France appeared to settle first, almost relieved the pre-match observations were over, England held the upper hand and took a grip with goals from man of the match Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney either side of halftime. The 19-year-old Alli blasted the ball past his Tottenham Hotspur club goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into the top corner for his first international goal after 39 minutes.
"I've got to say that I didn't at any moment in the game think that he was anything other than top class. It is amazing at that age and to have no previous experience really, unless you count those ten minute substitute appearances to go in and do what he did tonight I thought was quite outstanding," he said.
There was hardly a foul during the game and afterwards the fans and the England team roundly applauded the France players.