By Phil McNultyBBC Sport chief football writer in Chisinau
England's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign opened in emphatic fashion as Moldova were outclassed in Chisinau.
Roy Hodgson's side were three goals up at the interval as Frank Lampard scored an early penalty and headed a second before Jermain Defoe was on target.
England were kept waiting until 16 minutes from time before James Milner added a fourth, while Leighton Baines also scored his first international goal after his free-kick took a massive deflection.
It was a victory that was every bit as emphatic as the 5-0 scoreline suggests.
Danny MillsFootball Analyst
"England played the first half with a good tempo, they went to kill Moldova off. They tried to pass the ball. On occasions, they maybe overdid it, but Tom Cleverley was exceptional in the first half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was very bright and nobody had a bad game."
Manchester United's Tom Cleverley impressed on his first competitive start and Lampard demonstrated his continued worth at international level in a performance that was little more than a stroll once England swiftly exerted their obvious authority.
The display and result must be placed in the context that was it was against a side that looked every bit their Fifa world ranking of 141 - but England completed the job with efficiency to record their biggest away win in 19 years.
Hodgson may actually feel England could have scored even more but this was the perfect first step on the road to Rio in 2014 and the ideal platform for the second qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday.
Cleverley was a central figure as England took the lead inside three minutes. He saw his shot handled by Moldovan defender Simion Bulgaru and Lampard drilled home the penalty in trademark fashion.
The action was all heading one way and the Moldova keeper was having an adventurous evening. Defoe turned an effort wide at the near post before forcing a fine low save from Stanislav Namasco, who also rescued his own handling error by blocking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
England were graphically illustrating the huge gulf in class between the sides and it was no surprise when Lampard added the second just before the half hour. Steven Gerrard found his Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson and Lampard arrived in the area with perfect timing to glide a header beyond Namasco.
England match facts
This was England's biggest away win since San Marino were beaten 7-1 in November 1993
England have been awarded exactly 100 penalties. Frank Lampard is responsible for 12% of the 69 scored
The last time England scored five goals in an away international was in a 5-1 win in Germany in 2001
If Moldova harboured even the slightest hopes of pulling off a comeback that would have bordered on miraculous given their lack of quality, they were snuffed out 13 minutes before the break when Oxlade-Chamberlain picked his way through midfield before releasing Defoe for a finish that should have been dealt with more convincingly by Namasco at his near post.
Moldova did give England's under-employed keeper Joe Hart a worrying moment when Igor Armas sent a free header wide but otherwise it was an easy night.
Gerrard was replaced by Michael Carrick at the start of the second half and a sloppy passage of play followed in which England struggled to recapture the momentum and rhythm of their earlier work.
Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck were introduced for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Defoe - and both were involved in the build-up which led to Milner's powerful, low finish after 74 minutes.
As Moldova understandably tired after a night of ball chasing, Everton left-back Baines scored his first international goal as his deflected free-kick totally wrong-footed Namasco.
John Terry then limped off injured with what looked an ankle problem which may make him doubtful to face Ukraine.
It was the final act of a painful evening for Moldova in Chisinau and a highly satisfactory one for England.
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save made by Stanislav Namasco.
Substitution Eugen Sidorenco leaves the field to be replaced by Gheorghe Ovseanicov.
Assist by Danny Welbeck.
82:49 Goal scored
Goal - Leighton Baines - Moldova 0 - 5 England Leighton Baines scores a goal direct from the free kick from outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Moldova 0-5 England.
Victor Golovatenco concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Welbeck.
Alexandru Onica takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott. Corner taken by Artur Patras from the right by-line to the near post, Frank Lampard makes a clearance. Artur Patras takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
A cross is delivered by Sergei Kovalchuk, clearance by John Terry.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Artur Patras from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Frank Lampard.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandru Gatcan by Glen Johnson. Alexandru Gatcan restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Victor Golovatenco, comfortable save by Joe Hart.
Alexandru Dedov produces a cross, clearance made by John Terry.
Substitution Eugen Sidorenco joins the action as a substitute, replacing Igor Picusciac.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Artur Patras goes wide left of the target.
Assist by Theo Walcott.
73:21 Goal scored
Goal - James Milner - Moldova 0 - 4 England James Milner gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Moldova 0-4 England.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexandru Gatcan on John Terry. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Danny Welbeck replaces Jermain Defoe.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Igor Picusciac.
Leighton Baines sends in a cross, blocked by Semion Bulgaru.
Glen Johnson produces a cross, Igor Armas gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line. Frank Lampard sends in a cross, Effort from deep inside the area by Tom Cleverley misses to the left of the goal.
The referee penalises Alexandru Onica for handball. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Jermain Defoe concedes a free kick for a foul on Stanislav Namasco. Stanislav Namasco takes the direct free kick. Unfair challenge on Leighton Baines by Artur Patras results in a free kick. James Milner crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Alexandru Epureanu makes a clearance. Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Alexandru Epureanu gets a block in.
Substitution Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goes off and Theo Walcott comes on.
Unfair challenge on Stanislav Namasco by Jermain Defoe results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stanislav Namasco. Leighton Baines fouled by Artur Patras, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by James Milner, Alexandru Epureanu makes a clearance. Joleon Lescott takes a shot. Alexandru Epureanu gets a block in.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard, Stanislav Namasco makes a save.
Alexandru Gatcan takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.
James Milner delivers the ball, save made by Stanislav Namasco.
Glen Johnson challenges Alexandru Dedov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Sergei Kovalchuk.
Shot from inside the area by Tom Cleverley clears the bar.
The referee gets the second half started.
Substitution (Moldova) makes a substitution, with Alexandru Dedov coming on for Alexandr Suvorov.
45:00 +0:11 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.
Substitution Michael Carrick is brought on as a substitute for Steven Gerrard.
Unfair challenge on Semion Bulgaru by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Alexandr Suvorov, save made by Joe Hart. A cross is delivered by Sergei Kovalchuk, Headed effort from inside the area by Igor Armas misses to the right of the target.
The ball is sent over by Tom Cleverley.
Jermain Defoe takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
Igor Picusciac is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Jermain Defoe has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Blocked by Victor Golovatenco.
Alexandru Onica challenges Tom Cleverley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick. Frank Lampard is penalised for a handball. The ball is swung over by Alexandr Suvorov, Close range header by Alexandru Epureanu goes over the crossbar.
Leighton Baines challenges Sergei Kovalchuk unfairly and gives away a free kick. Semion Bulgaru takes the direct free kick.
Alexandru Onica gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard. Handball by Frank Lampard. Alexandr Suvorov delivers the ball, Close range header by Igor Picusciac goes over the bar.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provided the assist for the goal.
31:23 Goal scored
Goal - Jermain Defoe - Moldova 0 - 3 England Jermain Defoe scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Moldova 0-3 England.
Tom Cleverley has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
Assist on the goal came from Glen Johnson.
28:17 Goal scored
Goal - Frank Lampard - Moldova 0 - 2 England Frank Lampard finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Moldova 0-2 England.
Glen Johnson crosses the ball,
Alexandru Gatcan takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Alexandr Suvorov from the right by-line, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance. Artur Patras takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
Glen Johnson takes a shot. Save by Stanislav Namasco.
Alexandru Gatcan takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry. Inswinging corner taken by Artur Patras, Glen Johnson makes a clearance. Alexandru Epureanu takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
Foul by Alexandru Epureanu on Leighton Baines, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard. Effort on goal by Steven Gerrard from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.
Foul by Sergei Kovalchuk on John Terry, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
Alexandru Gatcan concedes a free kick for a foul on Joleon Lescott. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
The ball is crossed by Sergei Kovalchuk, John Terry makes a clearance.
Shot from outside the area by Artur Patras misses to the left of the target.
Glen Johnson crosses the ball.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leighton Baines by Alexandr Suvorov. Leighton Baines restarts play with the free kick.
James Milner crosses the ball, Shot from 12 yards from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Save by Stanislav Namasco.
The assist for the goal came from Tom Cleverley.
3:08 Goal scored
Goal - Frank Lampard - Moldova 0 - 1 England Power penalty scored by Frank Lampard. Moldova 0-1 England.
The ball is sent over by James Milner, Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Semion Bulgaru gets a block in. Semion Bulgaru handles the ball and concedes a .
Shot by Jermain Defoe. Save by Stanislav Namasco. Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line. A cross is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, clearance by Alexandru Epureanu.
The ball is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Close range shot by Jermain Defoe goes wide of the left-hand post.
The referee penalises Igor Picusciac for handball. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
Steven Gerrard sends in a cross.
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Victor Golovatenco.
Booking Glen Johnson receives a caution.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Glen Johnson on Sergei Kovalchuk. Free kick crossed right-footed by Alexandru Gatcan, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance. Foul by Semion Bulgaru on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
Unfair challenge on Sergei Kovalchuk by Glen Johnson results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Alexandru Gatcan, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance. Free kick awarded for a foul by Semion Bulgaru on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
Assist by Tom Cleverley.
3:08 Goal scored
Goal - Frank Lampard - Moldova 0 - 1 England Power penalty scored by Frank Lampard. Moldova 0-1 England.
Booking Booking for Semion Bulgaru for unsporting behaviour.
The ball is delivered by James Milner, Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Semion Bulgaru gets a block in. Handball decision goes against Semion Bulgaru.
The match begins.
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