England set the platform for Tuesday's crucial World Cup qualifier with Ukraine in Kiev by securing a routine win over Moldova at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson's side now stand top of Group H after Montenegro's draw in Poland - and are a point ahead of third-placed Ukraine after playing the same number of games.

Danny Welbeck was England's spearhead with goals either side of half-time but he will miss the trip to Kiev through suspension after being harshly booked for playing on when the whistle had gone for offside seconds before the interval.

Fifa 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H

Played Won Points

England

7

4

15

Montenegro

8

4

15

Ukraine

7

4

14

Poland

7

2

10

Moldova

8

1

5

San Marino

7

0

0

Steven Gerrard started England out on a satisfactory night's work with a superb early strike and Southampton's Rickie Lambert made it two goals in two international outings with a header before half-time.

Hodgson was able to give an England debut to Everton's exciting teenager Ross Barkley in the second half but will now be seriously concerned about his shortage of strikers with Wayne Rooney out injured, Daniel Sturridge struggling with a thigh injury and Welbeck suspended.

Welbeck's goals and all-round performance will only increase Hodgson's obvious sense of frustration that he will be unable to call on the Manchester United striker for a game that will do so much to shape England's qualifying campaign.

At Wembley a predictable pattern was established immediately as Lambert was just off target - but it took only 12 minutes for England to benefit from their early pressure.

England 4-0 Moldova: Hodgson 'aggrieved' by Welbeck suspension

Welbeck, used predominantly on the left flank, showed good technique to play in Frank Lampard and his short pass was drilled low past Moldova keeper Stanislav Namisco by Gerrard for his first England goal in more than three years.

Namisco's dreadful goalkeeping was a constant source of encouragement to England. He did well to block Jack Wilshere's shot after a surging run, but he was hopelessly out of his depth dealing with Theo Walcott's shot after 26 minutes, palming the ball invitingly into the path of Lambert, who scored with a stooping header.

It was hardly a taxing evening for England but there was a moment of despair for Hodgson and Welbeck just before half-time when the striker received the caution that will keep him out in Kiev for attempting a shot on goal when the whistle had gone for offside.

England player ratings

How did England's players perform against Moldova? See if you agree with chief football writer Phil McNulty's verdicts

The decision seemed harsh in the extreme, with Hodgson remonstrating furiously with the officials on the sidelines.

And Welbeck showed what England will be missing seconds later when he demonstrated fine technique to take Lambert's searching pass in his stride to roll in the third.

Everton's Leighton Baines replaced Ashley Cole at half-time and Welbeck's importance was emphasised even more when another clever combination with Lambert saw him lift a composed finish over Namasco five minutes after the restart.

Wilshere had taken some heavy punishment from the Moldovans and it was no surprise when Hodgson pulled him out of the action after 59 minutes, handing an England debut to Barkley.

Welbeck on the rise

Danny Welbeck, who misses Tuesday's match against Ukraine through suspension, has scored six times in his last seven England appearances, and has scored with eight of his 10 shots on target for England

Source - Opta

Hodgson made another sensible switch with 20 minutes left. Welbeck's suspension reduced England's stock of strikers still further and he removed Lambert to keep him back for Ukraine, sending on James Milner.

Barkley had, for the most part, kept it simple, but he almost marked his debut with a goal when he was just inches off target with a powerful low shot.

Lampard, in contrast, was trying to mark his 99th cap with a goal and only the eccentricity of Namasco prevented him doing with 10 minutes left, the keeper diving the wrong way but deflecting the miefielder's shot away with his foot.

Milner should have extended England's advantage in injury time but failed to make contact with a simple far-post chance and fired off target.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

England

  • 01 Hart
  • 02 Walker
  • 03 Cole (Baines - 45' )
  • 05 Cahill
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 04 Gerrard
  • 07 Walcott
  • 08 Lampard
  • 10 Wilshere (Barkley - 59' )
  • 09 Welbeck Booked
  • 11 Lambert (Milner - 70' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Ruddy
  • 23 Forster
  • 12 Smalling
  • 14 Baines
  • 15 Carrick
  • 16 Cleverley
  • 17 Milner
  • 18 Barkley
  • 20 Young
  • 21 Sterling
  • 22 Townsend
  • 19 Defoe

Moldova

  • 01 Namasco
  • 02 Armas
  • 03 Golovatenco
  • 06 Epureanu
  • 13 Bulgaru (Suvorov - 57' )
  • 14 Bordiyan
  • 07 Ionita (Onica - 19' )
  • 09 Antoniuc
  • 10 Dedov
  • 11 Gheorghiev (Pascenco - 84' )
  • 20 Sidorenco

Substitutes

  • 12 Pascenco
  • 23 Cebanu
  • 05 Racu
  • 17 Boestean
  • 18 Erhan
  • 04 Onica
  • 08 Cebotaru
  • 16 Suvorov
  • 19 Pascenco
  • 22 Gheorghe Andronic
  • 15 Doros
  • 21 Grosu
Ref: Ivan Kruzliak
Att: 61,607

Match Stats

Shots

23 2

On target

13 0

Corners

9 1

Fouls

12 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:17 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +0:33

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kyle Walker by Igor Armas. The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard. Shot by James Milner went harmlessly over the bar.

88:34

Corner from the right by-line taken by Alexandr Suvorov. Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance. Igor Armas takes a shot.

88:21

The ball is crossed by Alexandr Antoniuc. Leighton Baines gets a block in.

87:11

Leighton Baines is caught offside. Free kick taken by Alexandru Epureanu.

85:12

Shot by Kyle Walker went over.

83:53

Free kick taken by Gary Cahill.

83:53 Substitution

Substitution Alexandru Pascenco is brought on as a substitute for Serghei Gheorghiev.

83:53

Alexandru Onica gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard.

81:44

The ball is delivered by James Milner. Igor Armas makes a clearance.

80:59

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard. Header by Danny Welbeck misses left.

79:54

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandru Dedov by Ross Barkley. Free kick taken by Alexandru Onica.

78:50

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard. Clearance made by Igor Armas.

78:22

The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker. Igor Armas makes a clearance. Frank Lampard takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Stanislav Namasco blocks the effort with their feet .

77:47

Ross Barkley fouled by Alexandru Onica, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.

76:27

Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Stanislav Namasco catches the ball.

74:43

Shot by Ross Barkley went wide of the left-hand upright.

73:07

Corner from the left by-line taken by James Milner. Phil Jagielka challenges Stanislav Namasco unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stanislav Namasco takes the free kick.

71:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Victor Golovatenco by Theo Walcott. Igor Armas takes the free kick.

69:44 Substitution

Substitution Rickie Lambert leaves the field to be replaced by James Milner.

68:28

Corner from the right by-line taken by Steven Gerrard. Stanislav Namasco punches the ball.

68:12

Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Blocked by Alexandru Epureanu.

67:17

Ross Barkley concedes a free kick for a foul on Alexandru Onica. Free kick taken by Vitali Bordiyan.

66:46

Unfair challenge on Eugen Sidorenco by Gary Cahill results in a free kick. Alexandru Onica takes the free kick.

66:01

Alexandru Dedov takes a weak shot and went wide right of the goal.

64:58

Eugen Sidorenco is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Gary Cahill.

64:05

Gary Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Serghei Gheorghiev. Alexandru Onica restarts play with the free kick.

63:13

Eugen Sidorenco gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Walker. Steven Gerrard sends in a cross. Header by Danny Welbeck goes harmlessly over the bar.

61:37

Foul by Alexandru Onica on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Frank Lampard.

61:28

The ball is sent over by Vitali Bordiyan. Leighton Baines manages to make a clearance.

61:03

Unfair challenge on Alexandr Suvorov by Leighton Baines results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Alexandru Dedov.

60:00

Alexandru Dedov fouled by Steven Gerrard, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alexandru Dedov.

59:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Vitali Bordiyan by Kyle Walker. Free kick taken by Victor Golovatenco.

58:56 Substitution

Substitution Ross Barkley comes on in place of Jack Wilshere.

56:50 Substitution

Substitution Semion Bulgaru goes off and Alexandr Suvorov comes on.

52:48

Danny Welbeck is ruled offside. Stanislav Namasco restarts play with the free kick.

52:03

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard. Stanislav Namasco punches the ball. Gary Cahill takes a shot. Semion Bulgaru gets a block in.

51:39

Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.

51:24

Leighton Baines takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Stanislav Namasco dives and deflects the ball away.

49:57

Assist by Rickie Lambert.

49:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Welbeck - England 4 - 0 Moldova Danny Welbeck slots the ball left footed into the goal. England 4-0 Moldova.

47:05

Alexandru Dedov crosses the ball. Clearance made by Gary Cahill.

45:23

Kyle Walker crosses the ball. Vitali Bordiyan manages to make a clearance.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +0:48

The assist for the goal came from Rickie Lambert.

45:00 +0:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Welbeck - England 3 - 0 Moldova Danny Welbeck scores a left footed goal. England 3-0 Moldova.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Ashley Cole goes off and Leighton Baines comes on.

44:53 Booking

Booking

44:26

Danny Welbeck is ruled offside. Stanislav Namasco takes the free kick. Danny Welbeck goes into the book.

41:00

Igor Armas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick. Stanislav Namasco gets a fist to the ball to punch .

37:57

Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Alexandru Onica results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard. Shot by Frank Lampard. Blocked by Vitali Bordiyan.

35:45

The referee blows for offside against Alexandr Antoniuc. Free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.

33:17

Unfair challenge on Eugen Sidorenco by Gary Cahill results in a free kick. Alexandru Onica restarts play with the free kick.

31:20

Alexandr Antoniuc produces a cross that goes out of play.

30:38

Shot by Danny Welbeck went harmlessly over the bar.

28:01

Theo Walcott takes a weak shot and cleared the goal.

25:54

Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.

25:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Rickie Lambert - England 2 - 0 Moldova Rickie Lambert scores. England 2-0 Moldova.

25:49

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Stanislav Namasco parries the ball away.

25:36

Theo Walcott crosses the ball. Rickie Lambert takes a shot. A parry by Stanislav Namasco prevents the goal.

24:59

Victor Golovatenco gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.

23:59

Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Stanislav Namasco dives and deflects the ball away.Corner taken by Steven Gerrard. Clearance made by Serghei Gheorghiev.

23:34

Victor Golovatenco gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Kyle Walker takes the free kick.

20:09

Corner taken by Theo Walcott. Header at goal by Frank Lampard goes right of the post.

19:00

Serghei Gheorghiev concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Gerrard. Kyle Walker restarts play with the free kick.

18:22 Substitution

Substitution Alexandru Onica is brought on as a substitute for Artur Ionita.

17:04

Frank Lampard challenges Semion Bulgaru unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Victor Golovatenco.

16:10

The offside flag is raised against Theo Walcott. Stanislav Namasco takes the free kick.

15:29

The assistant referee signals for offside against Alexandru Dedov. Kyle Walker takes the free kick.

13:07

The ball is crossed by Kyle Walker. Blocked by Vitali Bordiyan. Corner from the right by-line taken by Steven Gerrard. Clearance by Alexandru Dedov.

11:28

Frank Lampard provided the assist for the goal.

11:28 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Gerrard - England 1 - 0 Moldova Steven Gerrard grabs a goal with a right foot finish. England 1-0 Moldova.

6:17

Ashley Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eugen Sidorenco. Free kick taken by Igor Armas.

4:26

The ball is crossed by Kyle Walker.

3:32

Rickie Lambert has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

1:30

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard. Header by Rickie Lambert goes over the bar.

1:10

The referee blows for offside against Alexandru Dedov. Kyle Walker takes the free kick.

0:21

Victor Golovatenco gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Kyle Walker restarts play with the free kick.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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