Wembley honored Paris victims with a moving rendition of the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” as host England took France on Tuesday in a match that stood more for solidarity.
Fans of England and France paid rich tributes to the victims of Paris attacks, the deadliest in France’s history.
A crowd of 71,223 people — including British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William stood up to sing “La Marseillaise” to show solidarity in response to the terror attacks that left 129 people dead and over 350 injured in Paris.
England won the match 2-0 courtesy of goals from Delle Alli and captain Wayne Rooney.
France midfielder Lassana Diarra who lost a cousin in the attacks and his team-mate Antonie Griezmann whose sister narrowly escaped the massacre at Bataclan concert hall, came in the second half.
Diarra was welcomed with a warm round of applause.
Heavy police presence was seen inside and outside the ground with two armed counter-terror police officers inspecting the pitch prior to kick-off.
The friendly matches between Germany-Netherlands and Spain-Belgium have all been called off due to security reasons.
However, the match between France-England took off as scheduled.
Fans and supporters thronged Wembley to show support with only 100 tickets to the game being returned.
Prior to the anthems and the solemnly observed minute’s silence, Prince William, France coach Didier Deschamps, England manager Roy Hodgson, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet and his English counterpart Greg Dyke laid floral tributes beside the pitch.
In a speech before the game, Dyke said: “Tonight is an opportunity for us, the English, to say to the people of Paris and to the people of France, ‘We are with you, we support you-tonight we are Parisians, tonight we are French.’”
“We share in your grief, we share in your shock, but also we share in your determination not to be beaten.”
The teams emerged from the tunnel led by children carrying a black flag bearing the French motto ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’ (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood).
Tottenham Hotspur’s 19 year old midfielder Alli made his debut and put England ahead with a 25 yard drive in the 39th minute with Rooney making his 51st international goal after the break.
Prince William who is also the FA President changed his plans to attend the match. FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan was also in attendance.