England v France: more than just a game

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GiveMeSport Live from Wembley 

Following a period of mourning and reflection after Friday's disaster in Paris, England and France came together this evening to kick a football around a pitch. The so-called 'Beautiful Game' may not be everyone's cup of tea, but tonight it represented a solidarity of two of Europe's finest footballing nations.

It was always going to be somewhat of a unique spectacle at Wembley, but it was one that captured the imaginations of so many, nonetheless. 

England fans singing the French national anthem was an emotional yet joyous moment for all involved. Here, live from inside the ground, it really was a moment to be cherished and remembered. The words to the anthem La Marseillaise were shown on the big screen ahead of the big kick-off and it was a sight to behold for the masses inside the famous ground. 


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Time-and-time again, football's critics have come out in full force over the years, but this evening's pure love for the game and for fellow human beings shone through in a quite extraordinary fashion. 

The pre-match photo, as players from England and France joined forces, only lifted spirits from inside the ground further. 

The minute silence was impeccably observed as so many paid tribute to all those involved in Friday's horrific attacks. French flags were raised and fans were united in paying their respects.

The pre-match showing was a compelling, powerful display of class as a near-soldout Wembley engaged radiantly throughout proceedings. 

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A fine contest 

With Prince William watching on, the game itself took its time to get going, but it was worth the wait as Tottenham's Dele Alli opened the scoring with a quite outstanding strike. On just his fourth England cap, the 19-year-old's first international goal was quite spectacular. It was certainly a goal worthy of the occasion. 

In truth, the entire first half proved a good sign for Roy Hodgson as a makeshift England side performed admirably. The second-half couldn't have started any better for Hodgson and Co., as captain Wayne Rooney volleyed home from a fine Raheem Sterling cross. 

Lassana Diarra's introduction with just over 30 minutes remaining once again put everything in perspective as the Wembley crowd rose to clap the midfielder onto the pitch. Diarra lost his cousin during Friday's attacks, so was rightly appreciated by all in the stadium. 

With the game finishing 2-0, England fans will be buoyed by tonight's fine showing. The Three Lions should only get better between now and next summer's European Championships, so there's no reason why they won't be able to stamp their mark on the tournament on this occasion. 

France, on the other hand, will still be a force to be reckoned with on home soil and they may well come to prominence in 2016. The likes of Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Co. will all get the opportunity to express their talents next summer, so they shouldn't be underestimated. 

These two nations may well meet again in a far more significant on-pitch clash in 2016, but tonight's spectacle will live long in the memory for all the right reasons. 

What did you think of tonight's game? Have your say below! 

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