It was touching tributes to the casualties of the recent Manchester and London terror attacks which cleared a path for a surprisingly entertaining friendly match, as Ousmane Dembele scored his first international goal to give 10-man France a 3-2 win over England in Paris on Tuesday night.
French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May attended the match at the Stade de France, toward the north of the capital, as the hosts offered their solidarity to their guests.
A moment’s of silence was flawlessly seen by almost 80,000 spectators before the game kick-off after French observers participate in with the singing of the English national anthem “God Save the Queen”, the expressions of which were set up on huge screens around the ground.
Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe turned things around for the hosts before half-time, with Ousmane Dembele wrapping up a merited 3-2 win as France downplayed Kane’s equaliser and Raphael Varane’s sending off as VARs were used for the first time for an England match.
France rapidly discovered their balance, and Olivier Giroud’s dissatisfaction was obvious after an offside call saw his sublime acrobatic goal was cancelled out before Dembele somehow coordinated wide in the wake of blasting through to latch onto a pass from Kylian Mbappe.
They were cautioning signs Southgate’s men neglected to need to. Giroud was permitted to meet a free kick with an intense header that Tom Heaton did well to stop. But the Burnley goalkeeper, earning his first start, couldn’t stop Umtiti rifling home the free ball in the 22nd moment. Heaton denied Mbappe at his close post as France hoped to proceed before England belatedly demonstrated some attacking aim as Bertrand was denied by Hugo Lloris.
France capitalised on England’s sloppy defence two minutes before half-time. Dembele led the charge and played the ball out wide, just for Gary Cahill’s intercession to play it once again into his way. Indicating awesome levelheadedness he cut in and got a shot that Heaton denied, just for France to score another bounce back as Sidibe turned in.
Disarray ruled for a moment inside the Stade de France as ref Davide Massa held up to get notification from video assistant team of Marco Guida and Massimiliano Irrati, with the penalty intensified by Varane’s questionable red card on a challenge on Dele Alli, Kane ventured up and converted the penalty to level at 2-2.
The three Lions at that point had more space to operate, yet it was France who nearly reestablished their lead in the 71st minute. Mbappe had a look at an open goal after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned the ball over, but he could only hit the crossbar.
Paul Pogba played the ball in for Mbappe at the top of the box, but instead of attempting to shoot, the youngster laid the ball off for Dembele, whose shot took a deflection off Cahill and into the net.