Arsenal in Action - England 2-0 France
The Wembley Arch before kickoff proved one of the night's defining images

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny both started France's friendly with England at Wembley. Described as "more than a game," it was played despite the events of last Friday in the French capital. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was also in attendance at Wembley.


Spurs midfielder Dele Alli opened the scoring late into the first half with a 25 yard drive beating his Spurs team mate Hugo Lloris. The shot had a slight deflection off Laurent Koscielny. Wayne Rooney doubled England's lead two minutes after half time, with the pre match pictures arguably more likely to make the back (and front pages) than the score line itself. The Wembley arch lit up in the colours of the Tricolore and the sound of the 80,000 strong Wembley crowd singing Les Marseilles are the story of the night, with England fulfilling one of the three of the motto of France, fraternité, brotherhood.


Kieran Gibbs was the star Arsenal player on the pitch, continuing to play his trademark attacking football. He was getting forward a lot and contributed to some of England's best attacks. Frenchmen Koscielny and Giroud, who came on in the second half, failed to make a huge impact, although Koscielny paid a part in stopping many of England's first half attacks.


Former Arsenal players also played with current Manchester City right back Bacary Sagna playing the full 90 minutes. One of the most moving moments of the night was the standing ovation when former Arsenal midfielder Lassana Diarra came on the pitch. His cousin was a victim of the attacks in Paris on Friday and the fact he had the strength to play was hugely impressive. Antonine Griezzmann also had personal experiences of the attacks in Paris, with his sister having escaped the attack at the Bataclan theatre.

Lassana Diarra enters the field to a standing ovation (Source: BBC)
Lassana Diarra enters the field to a standing ovation (Source: BBC)

How did Arsenal players fare in two of Friday's European friendlies?


The events of Friday evening overshadowed England's friendly with Spain in Alicante. Goalscorer and substitute Santi Cazorla was the only Arsenal player on the pitch as Spain beat England 2-0. Cazorla was one of the two Arsenal players in the two squads, with North London derby saviour Kieran Gibbs not making it off the England bench. Cazorla was a first half substitute, coming on the replace in the injured Thiago. The Arsenal midfielder scored the second goal of the game late in the match, a low shot past Joe Hart that secured Spain's lead after Mario Gaspar's beautiful acrobatic opener.


Two of Tuesday's games that may have involved Arsenal players were called off. Spain's friendly in Brussels against Belgium was called off after security fears after the attacks in Paris, while Mesut Özil's World Champions Germany had their friendly with the Netherlands called off 90 minutes before kick off after a security alert. The Germans were playing France on Friday night at the Stade de France, where 3 suicide bombers targeted the match. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the second half, despite the attack.


The game marks the end of an international break marred by events off the pitch, with all the Arsenal players returning to London. Arsenal face West Brom away in the first match back, with an important game in the Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb as well. Focusing on international football, eyes are beginning to turn to the European Championships which will be held in France. The group stage draw will be held next month in Paris, where Arsenal's European contingent will find out who the will play in the group stage and who they could face in later rounds.

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