Je Suis Paris: Ligue 1 returns after terror attacks on French capital

    Story highlights

    • Club football returns to Paris after terror attacks
    • Paris Saint Germain defeats Lorient 2-1

    (CNN)French football regained some semblance of normality Saturday as Ligue 1 fixtures returned in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in central Paris and at the Stade de France.

    Emotional scenes greeted players at the Stade Yves Allainmat-Le Moustoir in northwest France as league-leaders Paris Saint Germain, the capital's biggest club side, visited seventh-placed Lorient.
      The occasion marked the first time PSG had taken to the field since last Friday's attack.
      A minutes silence was impeccably observed before the game while the Parisian team's players donned a special commemorative jersey with the words "Je suis Paris" (I am Paris) displayed beneath the club crest.
      Children also released doves as a symbol of peace and reconciliation on the pitch prior to kick-off.
      First-half goals from Hervin Ongenda and Blaise Matuidi ensured PSG would secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory in spite of Benjamin Moukandjo's late strike for Lorient.
      Speaking after the game, PSG chairman and CEO, Nasser Al Khelaïfi, said "tonight we played as a tribute to the victims of those terrorist attacks."
      "We were here to show France's solidarity, that of Paris and the world. It was important to play tonight. It wasn't easy, but life continues, everything can't stop here," he added.
      PSG players Salvatore Sirigu and Javier Pastore both lost people they knew in the attacks. And the club's coach Laurent Blanc had reacted angrily to reporters who questioned how the players had been impacted in a press conference Friday.
      "Everyone is affected," Blanc snapped at reporters. "The message we wish to get across ... is that despite everything -- the images, the shock, being touched by these events, and although it's no doubt easier said than done -- life goes on. Our job is to play football."

      Football as an 'act of resistance'

      Ligue 1 had officially returned Friday as Nice and Lyon faced off on France's southern coast. Home fans held up candles before the match and were subject to strict security checks as they entered the Allianz Riviera stadium.
      Earlier in the week, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve banned all away fans from attending games this weekend as a security measure.
      Last week's attacks were part of a coordinated terrorist operation across the city which have so far claimed the lives of 130 people while many more remain in hospital.
      The attacks began when three suicide bombers detonated devices outside the Stade de France killing themselves and one bystander. France was taking on Germany in an international friendly inside the 80,000 capacity stadium at the time.
      The president of the French League, Frederic Thiriez had described the importance of returning to normal as quickly as possible in a statement that confirmed matches would go ahead earlier this week.
      "Playing football is an act of resistance in the face of barbarism," he said. "After the pain, after the tears, life must go on. Sportspeople, just like artists, can set the example."
      Tributes were also paid in football grounds across Europe Saturday as club competitions resumed after last weekend's international break.
      Clubs in England and Scotland played the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, in stadia before their fixtures as a mark of respect and solidarity.
      There was a minutes silence before all top-level matches in Belgium. However, the discovery of a cache of weapons in Brussels on Saturday led to the top tier match between Sporting Lokeren and Anderlecht being postponed.
      Security measures were also ramped up at the El Clasico match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain with 1,000 police officers and 1,400 private security guards on patrol.