CHISINAU, MOLDOVA - SEPTEMBER 07: Frank Lampard celebrates scoring to make it 2-0 with Steven Gerrard during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier match between Moldova and England at Zimbru Stadium on September 7, 2012 in Chisinau, Moldova. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
England eased to a comfortable 5-0 victory over Moldova, with Frank Lampard bagging a brace.
Moldova offered little resistance as England earned an easy 5-0 victory over Group H minnows Moldova.
The Three Lions were awarded an early lead after Tom Cleverley won a penalty just two minutes into his first England start. The Manchester United midfielder's shot struck the hand of Simion Bulgaru and Frank Lampard smashed home the resultant penalty to put England ahead.
There had been question marks before the game over the decision to paid Lampard and Steven Gerrard together once again, but Moldova permitted them to work together to great effect - shortly afterwards, Gerrard was involved in the build-up as Lampard met Glen Johnson's cross to head in England's second goal.
England did not have to wait long before they were effectively out of sight - just three minutes later, they were 3-0 up as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Jermain Defoe in the area, who smashed England yet further ahead, courtesy of a poor bit of goalkeeping from Stanislav Namasco.
Other than Moldova threatening to pull one back from a free-kick, there was little else of note to happen before half-time, upon which Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced by Theo Walcott, who eventually had a big hand in setting up England's fourth, sprinting to counter-attack before exchanging passes with Cleverley and Danny Welbeck in the Moldova area before the ball was cut back to James Milner to rifle in a fourth.
In the end, Leighton Baines - on a rare absence for Ashley Cole - staked his claim for the England left-back spot by adding gloss to the scoreline as he scored England's fifth and final goal, a large deflection helping his free-kick into the Moldovan net.
All in all, a procession for England, and Hodgson's experimentation - Leighton Baines at left-back, Tom Cleverley in an advanced position, Gerrard and Lampard together in midfield - will be inconclusive until deployed under more testing conditions. As for Moldova, it looks as though their main goal will be staying ahead of San Marino in Group H.