Team's Europa League victory offers chance for sorely needed celebration of a city's spirit.
The Republic may well be secular – yet when the results of the first round came in that evening, many electors must have offered up a prayer in gratitude.
While the candidates of the main left and right parties have endorsed the centrist from nowhere, others have held back.
The centrist is not the first to succeed from outside the traditional parties in the Fifth Republic.
The centrist former economy minister and the far-right leader are set to contest the run-off on 7 May.
With the far right and far left surging in the run-up to a defining presidential election, the French seem intent on blowing up the political establishment.
A last-minute attack, as many feared, can change everything.
A run-off between Le Pen and a scandal-ridden François Fillon suddenly looks worryingly plausible.
All of the candidates – even Fillon, a socially conservative Thatcherite – can claim to represent change. Yet none appears capable of embodying what de Gaulle called “l’esprit de la nation”.
Faced with a conservative parliament, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon would struggle to deliver their promises.
On the eve of the French Presidential election, Marine Le Pen holds together a coalition more fractious than it seems.
For illuminating stories on global events,
subscribe now from just £1 an issue