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Moldova v England: England player ratings

England cruised to a comprehensive 5-0 victory against Moldova in their opening qualification match for the 2014 World Cup.

Little could be learned against an extremely poor Moldovan side, but some players produced the goods and showed bright signs of a better future.

Total Football’s Simon Wright analyses the England team and rates how they did in Chisinau.

Joe Hart

It was a simple night for Joe Hart, as he had no major saves to make. He would have had more entertainment with a matchday programme at his disposal in the goal, it was that easy.

Did fluff punching a cross at one stage but largely untroubled throughout. This was a routine performance from the Manchester City stopper. 7/10

Glen Johnson

He collected a cheap and needless booking inside four minutes and it set the tone for another frustrating performance from the right back.

Couldn’t fault his attacking instincts and it was his excellent cross that set-up Frank Lampard for his second goal.

In the second half, Johnson was too casual, with some rash clearances and gave possession away far too often.

Defensively, he is still a weak link and might lose his place to Kyle Walker on Tuesday. 6/10

John Terry

A solid display from the former England captain, who barely had to do anything but when he did, it was his traditional reliable self.

A comfortable night ended prematurely after picking up a knock on his ankle, which makes him a doubt for the Ukraine match. 7/10

Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott got the nod over Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka to remain a first-choice centre back.

He didn’t need to bring his top game to the field on a cruise and collect evening for the Three Lions.

Difficult to justify his selection but did what he had to do and could well cement his place in the side in the coming months. 6/10

Leighton Baines

As an understudy to Ashley Cole who is arguably the best left back in the world, international football has never been too kind to Leighton Baines.

He will keep Cole on his toes though and it was a consistent and fluid performance, even though he didn’t get forward as much as was liked, particularly in the first half.

Baines got his first international goal too, although this was off a wicked deflection via a free-kick. He’ll claim it but not sure if he will keep it. 7/10

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard left his dreadful club form behind at Anfield and it was such a stroll, he was withdrawn at half-time to be prepared for tougher tests to come.

The captain looked calm and assured in the first half in a more defensive role, allowing Lampard to break forward and create havoc.

It was encouraging to see his partnership with Lampard provide such devastating results, although let’s not read too much into it, due to the gulfing class between the two sides. 7/10

Frank Lampard

He is 34 now but Frank Lampard still has an eye for goal on a great night for the Chelsea ace.

Lampard slotted away his third minute penalty with some aplomb and met Johnson’s delicate cross with an instinctive header to double his tally on the half hour.

He captained the side when Gerrard went off at half-time and clearly enjoyed a free-flowing role.

Surprised he didn’t seem too interested in chasing a hat-trick but it was another deadly and dynamic performance. 8/10

Tom Cleverley

A first senior international appearance from the start for Tom Cleverley and it is clear that he offers England a new dimension.

Fitted right into the team and winning an early penalty must have settled any pre-match nerves.

Offered plenty in the 90 minutes and deserves a chance infront of the Wembley faithful in a few days time. 7/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Claimed an assist for Jermain Defoe’s goal and he always looked for the ball.

Calm in possession and with fantastic speed across the ground, Oxlade-Chamberlain ran rings around a terrified defence.

He tired in the second half which led to an early departure but an energetic first half performance. It was an excellent performance for such a young age. 8/10 (STAR MAN)

James Milner

James Milner has been a Roy Hodgson favourite for some time but he underlined why he always get selected in the starting XI, with a commanding performance.

He deserved his goal in the last 15 minutes, his international breakthrough at the 32nd time of asking.

A performance full of quality and efficiency, Milner has become difficult to be replaced now. 8/10

Jermain Defoe

It was a special evening for Jermain Defoe, who celebrated his 50th cap with a goal.

He was sharp and decisive, taking his goal very well despite questionable goalkeeping.

Always looked eager to shoot and could have scored more before taken off for Danny Welbeck. This was a job well done. 7/10

SUBS

Michael Carrick (on for Steven Gerrard, 45 minutes)

Michael Carrick’s first competitive international since October 2009 and it won’t be a vintage performance to lookback on.

He had no impact on the game but was not required to have this presence.

Filled in well when Terry picked up his knock in the back four, he was solid but unspectacular. 6/10

Theo Walcott (on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 58 minutes)

It is interesting to find out that Theo Walcott has never started a match for Hodgson and his performance here might prove why.

His sheer pace was evident but at times, still careless in possession.

Did play a big role in Milner’s goal and offered a new dimension against a tiring side but unlikely to start for a while, if club mate Oxlade-Chamberlain keeps his form up. 7/10

Danny Welbeck (on for Jermain Defoe, 68 minutes)

Welbeck was keen in his 20 minute cameo to make an impression.

He played his part in the fourth goal but not enough time to prove his capabilities. He might not start Tuesday due to his lack of effectiveness in the summer against the Ukrainians. 6/10

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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