England goalscorer and man of the match Dele Alli was beaming with pride after helping the Three Lions beat France on an emotional night at Wembley.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was making only his fourth appearance for Roy Hodgson’s men, along with five other starters aged 22 or under, and it was his fabulous 39th-minute strike that opened up the scoring.
The focus leading into the friendly fixture was understandably on the pre-match tributes to those affected by Friday’s horrific events in Paris, and Alli was pleased to play his part as the two teams stood side by side in unity.
England 2-0 France
Tuesday 17 November 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
And the 19-year-old was also happy with England's team performance as they wrapped up the year with a victory over a French side who will be strong contenders at the Euro 2016 Finals.
“It was really emotional for both teams but it was important we stayed professional as soon as that whistle went and concentrated on our performance,” Alli said when he spoke to FATV after the game.
“Obviously, I’m really happy to get the goal and the win at Wembley.
“It was a really proud moment for me to even start today, so to get the goal and the man of the match rounds off a perfect night along with the win.
“It was a young team but I think we played with a lot of maturity, and it’s great to have the experienced players with us when we need it.
He continued: “It was never going to be easy, but I thought everyone played well today. It was a good game for us but we have a lot to learn. If we take the positives into the next game I’m sure we’ll be alright.
“It’s been a really positive year, I’ve only just come in for the last few games, but you can really tell there’s confidence in the group and we showed that tonight.”
Alli’s goal was one to remember, not only for himself but for the 71,000 fans in the stadium, and it came against his club-mate at Spurs, Hugo Lloris.
Having earlier see a chance missed, the former MK Don was eager for another chance and his fine strike which beat Lloris at full-stretch showed confidence beyond his years.
And Alli put his display down to the trust shown in him by Hodgson since he made his debut in October.
“As soon as you start playing you forget about everything and just go and do what you know you can do,” he said.
“I’ve got to say a big thanks to the manager and the staff for having a lot of faith in me, put a lot of trust in me and I’m happy I performed well today.”
He added: “Just before [the goal] H [Harry Kane] switched one out to me and maybe I should have done better with that, so I was keen to make up for it.
“It was a one-two with Wazza [Rooney] and I saw them dropping off and the space opened up. As soon as I had the chance to hit it I was a bit lucky and it went in.
“He’s a great keeper and I’m sure we’ll have a bit of a laugh about it at training.”