Nathan Redmond was England's inspiration amid torrential rain in south Wales as he scored twice to leave Gareth Southgate's men within touching distance of a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off spot.
Redmond broke the deadlock on 18 minutes and, although Gwion Edwards' fine header soon restored parity, the Norwich City FC winger put England back in front with a long-range effort before half-time. He almost had a hat-trick just after the restart, hitting the base of the post with the goalkeeper well beaten, and Wales were still in it until added time, when Redmond's shot went in via the slightest of deflections off substitute Saido Berahino.
"This was a really impressive performance, we were a real threat, we took up great possession and we showed that we have strength in depth. We played as well as we have in this campaign," said manager Gareth Southgate, whose side will advance with two games to spare if Moldova fail to win in Finland on 1 June. "Nathan [Redmond] is a pleasure to work with, we can give him freedom to play. He created a lot of his own chances tonight. He's a really exciting player."
Redmond served early warning on the left wing and did not need a second invitation when Lloyd Isgrove was caught in possession, clinically slotting the ball inside Connor Roberts' near post. England's own defenders were culpable when Edwards levelled two minutes later, but it was a brief interlude in the Redmond show and the 20-year-old added his second on 38 minutes with a long-range shot that took a slight deflection off Joe Walsh on its way past Roberts.
England pushed for a third goal, Redmond going close, but the worsening weather and tired legs meant that the second half lack the zip of the first. Wales substitute George Williams caused England a few problems but the game was up when Redmond weaved his way through the defence in added time and helped wrap things up.