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Football unites as one with England victory over France

| 18.11.2015

Matt Haynes | November 17, 2015

England 2-0 France

  • Goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney secure win
  • Jack Butland with strong second half performance
  • Hardworking performance from both teams

Strong start

England record a 2-0 win over France at Wembley in their second friendly of the international break.

In the face of adversity, the Three Lions roared. Les Bleus battled bravely. It was testimony to the spirit in which this match was played that the referee only gave two minutes of injury time at the end.

While Wembely fell silent for a minute prior to kick-off, remembering the dead, the football Gods united, cocooning the stadium in a layer of protection, providing the platform for an evening of sombre solidarity, remarkable reverence and most of all the true of spirit of football to triumph.

Britain England France Soccer Paris Attacks

Understandably, France, fearless in their approach, started on the front foot and John Stones was called into action multiple times, blocking Hatem ben Arfa’s route to goal.

England, however, soon began to ease into the match. Playing at a tempo, which time and again had France back-pedaling, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was needed to collect a Wayne Rooney free-kick, while moments later Rooney went close to opening the scoring, steering a drive just wide after a great run.

Delightful Dele

It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Dele Alli, won the ball just past the half way line as it fell to Rooney out wide. Meanwhile, the Spurs midfielder continued his momentum, receiving the return before unleashing a wonder strike past his Spurs teammate Lloris in goal.

Britain England France Soccer Paris Attacks

Not long before, he had spurned an effort across goal after a poor initial touch, however this didn’t seem to have hurt his confidence.

Rooney rattles second

Following the interval, England started with the same intensity that the first half finished with. While Jack Butland replaced Joe Hart in goal, Paul Pogba also came on for France, stepping into Blaise Matuidi’s shoes.

It was the home side though, who seized the initiative. Playing on the counter-attack, after another superb tackle from Alli, the ball found Raheem Sterling out wide, who steered a cross towards the back post, where Rooney was lurking for the striker to volley past Lloris.

Britain England France Soccer Paris Attacks

Defensive dominance

To the credit of France, they rallied. A nation, clearly hurting, they did well to not let this show and lay siege to Butland’s goal, though the Stoke stopper stood up well, denying Anthony Martial, Pogba and Kingsley Coman.

In the end, England held out to record a first victory over France since 1997 though, all in attendance and observation around the world will agree, that football was the worthy winner.


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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.