Monday 24 October 2016

Lloris grateful but says French drained after attacks

Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris admits the French players felt emotionally drained during their 2-0 defeat to England but expressed gratitude for the tributes paid to victims of last week's Paris terrorist attacks.

England won the fixture at Wembley, with Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney both on the scoresheet, but the game will be remembered for the solidarity shown between the two nations and the brave performance of the French players, just four days after the horrific events that killed 129 people.

English fans joined in the French national anthem before kick-off while both teams mixed together for pre-match photos and then stood around the centre circle as a minute's silence was impeccably observed around the stadium.

"We have to thank the English for the reception they gave us, for their support," France captain Lloris said.

"What they did for us was very strong, very moving. It was big of them.

"We couldn't deliver the kind of performance we wanted out on the pitch because we lacked energy.

"The last three days, with the preparations we've had, had clearly taken something out of us.

"But the result wasn't the most important thing about this evening. It was secondary. What was important was that we were out there, on the pitch, and the game went ahead.

"Now we have to go back to our clubs, every one of us, refocus and recover. There will be better days than this ahead, for all of us."

The French players applauded their fans after the full-time whistle and the front page of yesterday's L'Equipe simply read, 'Thank You', following the moving scenes at Wembley.

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