England secured a comfortable 4-0 victory over Moldova thanks to a brace from Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck, a fine strike from Steven Gerrard and another goal for Southampton's Rickie Lambert.
It was an impressive display from the Manchester United striker who constantly troubled the Moldova back line with his movement. However, there was a sour note for the striker after he picked up a yellow card that rules him out of the crucial away game against Ukraine on Tuesday.
Gerrard had opened the scoring after just 11 minutes with a fine strike from the edge of the area, before a constant wave of England pressure led to Lambert heading home at the back post.
Welbeck would then extend England's lead right on half time as he latched onto a lovely through ball from Lambert, before firing his second five minutes into the second half after another lovely pass from the Southampton striker.
Moldova struggled to create any opportunities as Roy Hodgson's side attacked at will, and it could have been far more had England taken their chances in the second half.
Having already beaten Moldova 5-0 earlier in the qualifying campaign it was vital for Hodgson's side to get off to a quick start. Lambert had already had two opportunities by the time the ball fell to Gerrard on the edge of the area after good work on the left from Ashley Cole and Welbeck.
Cole would find Frank Lampard in space, with the Chelsea man picking out Gerrard who coolly steered the ball into the bottom left hand corner past a helpless Stanislav Namasco.
England were putting the visitors under constant pressure as Jack WIlshere saw an effort from range well saved by the Moldovan keeper, before Lambert grabbed his second goal in successive games.
Wave after wave of England attacks led to Theo Walcott blasting a shot at Namasco who could only deflect the ball into the path of Lambert who would make no mistake from close range.
Right on the stroke of half-time Welbeck would grab his first of the night after a straight forward ball from Lambert found the United striker and his first touch took him past the advancing keeper before slotting the ball into the empty net.
This came just moments after Welbeck had been harshly booked for playing on and hitting a shot, despite the referee blowing the whistle.
England had plenty of opportunities to extend their lead in the second half and it didn't take long for Welbeck to grab his second of the night as he latched onto a perfect through ball from Lambert before chipping the ball past the advancing keeper.
The United striker went close to completing his hat-trick on two occasions but a header and curled left foot effort from range both led to comfortable saves from Namasco.
Ross Barkley would come on in the 59th minute for his England debut and he almost opened his account after beating his marker before firing a shot from 20 yards narrowly wide of the post.
England continued to press for a fifth but were unable to find another goal but still find themselves top of the table, despite Ukraine beating San Marino 9-0 in the other big game on the night.
Hodgson's men must now go to Ukraine and try and secure a positive result, but they will have to do so without Welbeck who was hugely disappointed to pick up the yellow card.
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