England strode to the FIFA World Cup qualifying Group H summit by overwhelming Moldova at Wembley.
There was an air of inevitability about the outcome from the moment Steven Gerrard made Stanislav Namaşco's net billow after 12 minutes. Southampton FC forward Rickie Lambert exhibited his predatory instincts to make it two and Danny Welbeck rounded off the first-half scoring. The Manchester United FC forward struck again on 51 minutes to send England clear of Montenegro on goal difference ahead of Tuesday's trip to Ukraine.
Roy Hodgson's charges quickly asserted their superiority, Gerrard powering a trademark shot from the edge of the area beyond Namaşco. The visitors' back line was sprung again 15 minutes later, Lambert heading his second England goal in as many appearances after Theo Walcott's fierce effort had been parried. Lambert turned creator on the stroke of half-time, executing a delicate through ball for Welbeck, who beat Namaşco to the pass and slotted in.
Welbeck combined intuitively with Lambert again after the interval, culminating in the former deftly lifting the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper. With the clock ticking down, Everton FC midfielder Ross Barkley almost marked his senior international debut with a goal by sending a venomous right-footed shot fizzing past a post, before James Milner volleyed over from close range.