England coast to win in qualifier
England got off to a strong start in their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 5-0 win in Moldova. Veteran Frank Lampard’s two early goals settled the game, but it was the performances of young players Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley that would have given England fans grounds for optimism about the future.
Lampard followed up his third-minute penalty with a header. Jermain Defoe added a third before half-time. England relaxed in the second half but added goals from Leighton Baines and James Milner.
Manager Roy Hodgson was delighted with the result and the performance and singled out Lampard for praise. "Frank was excellent," he said. "Like Steven Gerrard, he is a quality player, and quality is permanent. That's been proved time and time again. They might not always play at the very top of their game, but you're always better off going into games with that quality on the field."
England did not miss their high-profile absentees Andy Carroll, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole. Cole’s replacement Leighton Baines said that the win would give England confidence for their Wembley match against Ukraine.
"Not many teams would come here and do that," Baines said. "Moldova had a couple of tight games against Holland recently and this proves we've got goals in us throughout the team, players who can score. Not only that, we kept a clean sheet. It helps when you're not having to over-exert yourself when you've got a game on Tuesday. We'll feel the benefit of that against Ukraine. That's a game we're looking forward to even more now."