Seventy thousand football fans united to pay tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks on Tuesday night, with Wembley Stadium ringing to the sound of La Marsellaise.
England fans had been encouraged to sing the French national anthem along with the travelling French support, with the words displayed on the stadium big screens.
After the match, France manager Didier Deschamps thanked the crowd for a “grandiose moment”.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 17, 2015
“It was a moment when everyone came together. You felt it in your heart, you felt it in your gut, it was a special, moving, grandiose moment,” he said.
“The moment when we all sang together was a powerful, emotional moment. We’ve had this moment of communal grief almost, this outpouring of communal grief. It’s been good for us.”
French national sports newspaper L’Equipe devoted Wednesday morning’s front page to say ‘Thank You’ for England’s warm reception.
Merci aux Anglais pour ce mémorable hommage.
Merci beaucoup. pic.twitter.com/iWWSaJtz99
— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) November 18, 2015
After the anthems, English and French players stood together around the centre circle for a minute’s silence.
Asta Diakite, cousin of French midfielder Lassana Diarra, was killed in the attacks in Paris on Friday night. Diarra was applauded on to the field when he came on as a substitute during the second half.
Double substitution for France – Lassana Diarra and Olivier Giroud on, Gignac and Cabaye off. Applause from all round the stadium. #ENGvFRA
— England (@England) November 17, 2015
The Wembley Arch was lit up with the colours of the French Tricolore throughout the game.
England won the match 2-0, but the result was far less important than the fact that the game went ahead at all, especially after news filtered through that a friendly between the Netherlands and Germany had been cancelled less than two hours before kick-off because of a bomb scare.
“Football is a global game and, as Didier Deschamps said, it’s not about religion or race, it’s about togetherness. Anyone can play the game of football,” England captain Wayne Rooney said after the game.