England dismissed Moldova 4-0 at Wembley in a one-sided encounter that continued Roy Hodgson’s push towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Goals from Steven Gerrard, Ricky Lambert and a pair from Danny Welbeck made light of an under strength England team against a woeful opposition that made their FIFA ranking – joint 126th in the world – look flattering.
Lambert, playing only his second game for the national team, put in a man of the match performance, scoring one and making two for his compatriots, giving the manager an able resource to tap should his preferred attackers - Rooney and Sturridge – suffer further injury or ill form.
Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard joined Gerrard in the midfield, the trio dominating the game for much of the 90 minutes. Ross Barklay, the Everton midfielder, came on late in the second half to make his England debut - one that he almost capped with a goal when his low drive brushed the post.
The result places England top of the qualification group with seven games played.
Sterner tests await Hodgson’s team, particularly games against Poland and Montenegro later in the year, however Wembley was pleased with England’s display on Friday, albeit a reminder of the disparity between some of the teams in the qualification draw.