England 2-0 France: Dele Alli's debut goal lights up emotional Wembley
Last Updated: 18/11/15 7:25pm
Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney were on target as England beat France 2-0 in an emotionally-charged friendly at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Tottenham midfielder opened the scoring for the home side with a spectacular long-range shot six minutes before half-time, before Rooney doubled their lead with a 48th-minute strike.
However, the match - played in front of a crowd of 71,223 - will be remembered for the way in which those who died in the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday were honoured before kick-off.
Managers Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps were joined by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge to lay flowers before a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise from both sets of fans with the east section of the stadium holding up cards to display the French flag La Tricolore.
Both squads stood shoulder to shoulder as the crowd erupted into a minute's applause for the 129 people killed in the French capital before supporters observed an immaculate minute's silence.
England boss Hodgson had made seven changes to the team that started Friday night's 2-0 loss in Spain, with the Tottenham duo of Alli and Eric Dier starting together in midfield.
Deschamps brought in Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye, Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin and former Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa as the visitors made five alterations to the side that began the game with Germany on Friday.
However, the France coach opted to bench both Lassana Diarra - whose cousin was killed in the French capital on Friday - and Antoine Griezmann, whose sister escaped the Bataclan concert hall that same evening.
Following the pre-match tributes there was an early warning sign to England when Cabaye was afforded too much time and space in the middle of the park, only for the Palace midfielder to fire narrowly over Joe Hart's bar.
Minutes later and Anthony Martial embarked on a dribble that saw him breeze past Nathaniel Clyne, before testing Hart with a low shot down to his left.
England continued to press, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock in the opening quarter of the match was Rooney's curling free-kick from the edge of the area.
That was until Harry Kane picked out strike partner Rooney with a delicious defence-splitting through-ball just past the half-hour mark, however, the England captain was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring with a scorching drive that flew inches past Lloris' far post.
That narrow miss was soon forgotten though when Alli gave England the lead with a memorable strike, the Spurs youngster's first for his country on his first start, and good enough to even draw applause from the French fans.
Alli, 19, won a crunching 50-50 challenge near the halfway line, before striding forward and unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard shot that swerved past club-mate Lloris' outstretched hand.
England very nearly doubled their advantage right from the restart, only for Lloris to react smartly at his near post to beat away Kane's snap shot, before the lively Raheem Sterling was sent clear down the left flank, but his shot was deflected just past the far post.
However, the home side did increase their lead three minutes into the second period, with Alli again involved after winning back possession midway inside the France half, before then releasing Sterling down the left wing.
The Manchester City forward, with space to exploit, drove at the visitors' back line before picking out an unmarked Rooney at the far post, and England's all-time record goalscorer made no mistake by beating Lloris with a well-struck shot from six yards out.
Kane could have added a third goal moments later, only for his speculative long-range attempt to flash past the post, as England continued their domination after half-time.
The whole of Wembley applauded the introduction of former Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth midfielder Diarra just before the hour-mark, while another second-half substitute, Paul Pogba, then saw an effort curl inches over the crossbar.
France were starting to ask the home side's defence more questions though and very nearly halved the deficit after 65 minutes following a neat one-two in the box between Pogba and Martial, only for Jack Butland - who replaced Hart at the break - to foil the forward with a close-range block.