Updated: 07/09/2012 23:45 | By pa.press.net

Lampard double helps England to victory

Frank Lampard scored two first-half goals as England cruised to a 5-0 win

Frank Lampard scored two first-half goals as England cruised to a 5-0 win

England launched their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 5-0 victory in Moldova to record their biggest away win since 1993.

Frank Lampard scored twice to provide the perfect answer to questions about his age, with Jermain Defoe, James Milner and a deflected Leighton Baines free-kick underlining England's overwhelming superiority.

It has to be pointed out England will face much stiffer tests than this, while the exits of John Terry and Steven Gerrard proved they did not escape unscathed.

There were only six survivors in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up from the team that lost their Euro 2012 quarter-final to Italy on penalties in Kiev.

Lampard might have come in quite handy on that night. After all, when he drilled home from the spot after only four minutes, the Chelsea man was converting his eighth penalty for England, a record.

Hodgson could take some satisfaction from the knowledge one of his surprise selections created the opener. Preferred to Manchester United team-mate Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley was eager to make a positive impression on his first competitive start.

He did exactly that by meeting James Milner's far post cross perfectly, only for Semion Bulgaru to block it with his hand. Referee Paul van Boekel gave England the benefit of the doubt and Lampard gave them the early advantage they craved.

Moldova keeper Stanislav Namasco was unconvincing as he dealt with efforts from Defoe, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Glen Johnson before he was beaten once more by Lampard midway through the half. Again the delivery came from the right - this time from Johnson - and Lampard was perfectly placed to convert.

Within three minutes, England had another. When Oxlade-Chamberlain rolled a pass through a static defence, Defoe found the net with a first-time shot.

A fourth goal eventually arrived courtesy of Milner after both Cleverley and substitute Danny Welbeck had declined opportunities to shoot themselves. And 10 minutes from time, Baines completed the victory, with, remarkably, England's first goal direct from a free-kick since David Beckham scored against Ecuador in 2006.

07/09/2012 23:22
5-0 away from home is a good result whoever the opposition, lets not get too carried away but if had been Germany, Italy,Spain or Holland got that result tonight then everyone would be raving about them........A great start to the campaign and good confidence booster for harder test on Tuesday, well done England 
07/09/2012 23:07
Well played england. A deserved win.
07/09/2012 22:38
come off it against part timers,these so called over rated england players has never been world class and never will be.they are only good enough for their clubs and thats it
07/09/2012 22:33
Pre match interview with Hodgson, it;s going to be hard, oh! dear, why did he not just say - There not very good, & we will beat them easy!!! It was so easy after 30 min;s i enjoyed watching - Timmy Spall, Somewhere At Sea, very exciting. 
07/09/2012 23:23

They are only kicking a football around for 90 minutes and over paid into the bargain

07/09/2012 23:12

Nothing to write home about beating moldova.And still nothing to look forward to in rio.

Hodgeson is a decent man but I reckon if Harry Rednapp was the manager we would have had a better chance of at least the semi final in the next world cup.

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