Sep 6, 2013 at 8pm UK at ‚ÄčWembley Stadium
England
4-0
Moldova
Gerrard (12'), Lambert (26'), Welbeck (45', 50')
Welbeck (45')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Live Commentary: England 4-0 Moldova - as it happened

Live Commentary: England 4-0 Moldova - as it happened
© Getty Images
Find out how England overcame Moldova 4-0 with Sports Mole's text updates.

England played host to Moldova this evening knowing that they needed to collect all three points to keep their hopes of qualifying for next year's World Cup alive.

They scored early through captain Steven Gerrard, before Rickie Lambert claimed his second goal at international level.

The scoring was completed by Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck, who found the net either side of half-time to seal the win for the Three Lions.

You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.


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7.02pmEvening all. So, we've reached crunch time in the European World Cup qualifiers. Nothing but a win for England will do this evening, particularly with a tricky trip to Ukraine on the horizon. Standing in their way is Moldova...

7.04pmNormally, with just under an hour to go until the start, we are still scratching around waiting for the team news. However, Roy Hodgson has decided to go all continental and actually revealed his starting lineup yesterday. Let's have a look at who will be featuring from the beginning for the Three Lions...

7.06pmENGLAND XI: Hart; Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Cole; Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere; Welbeck, Walcott, Lambert

7.08pmIt hasn't worked since 2004, but that hasn't stopped Hodgson from returning to the Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard partnership in midfield. In fairness, in past they were part of a four-man unit, but tonight it's a three-ponged lineup which also includes Jack Wilshere. Elsewhere, Rickie Lambert has been rewarded for his winner last time out against Scotland with a starting role. He will be supported by Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott, while Ashley Cole is preferred to Leighton Baines at left-back.

7.10pmAnd in the next post will be England's substitutes tonight...

7.11pmENGLAND SUBS: Smalling, Ruddy, Baines, Carrick, Cleverley, Milner. Barkley, Defoe, Young, Sterling, Townsend, Forster

7.15pmRight, we are still awaiting the Moldova starting lineup, although, even if we had it, you probably wouldn't be overly familiar with the names - nor us! A quick run down their squad list shows that the majority of them play their club football either in the Moldovan league or in Russia.

7.19pmHowever, while I may not be able to inform you too much on the playing squad, did you know that Moldova's main trade is the export of wine? Or that Romanian and Russian are the main languages spoken there. How about the population, you ask? Well that is just 664,700. Okay, enough, let's get back to the football and a bit of focus on England.

7.23pmWhile England vs. Moldova may not be the most intriguing of matches for many, it's going to be a special night for Lampard. This will be the 99th time that he has represented England at senior international level. Impressively, the Chelsea man has scored 29 goals - for a midfielder, that's some return.

7.27pmIt's also an important encounter for Lambert, who will be making his first start in the white shirt. As mentioned earlier, he scored with his first touch as an international footballer against Scotland last month. He probably would not have been involved from the beginning had Wayne Rooney or Daniel Sturridge been fit, but the Southampton striker is in the squad on merit. No doubt he will fancy his chances of adding to his tally tonight.

7.30pmLet's just remind ourselves of that magic moment for Lambert. The joy on his face was there for all to see:


7.34pmRight all you Moldova fans, the wait is over. Your starting lineup is in...

7.37pmMOLDOVA XI: Namasco; Epureanu, Golovatenco, Bulgaru, Bordian; Armas, Ionita, Antoniuc, Sidorenco, Gheorghiev; Dedov

7.40pmAs you'd expect, it's a rather defensive lineup for the away side. They are likely to be banking on the experience of defender Alexandru Epureanu. The 26-year-old, who plays his club football for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, also has an eye for goal, having found the net on four occasions at international level.

7.44pm"We've got four games that we have to win. We want to be at the 2014 World Cup," England's Wilshere has just told ITV Sport. The pressure on that young lad's shoulders is incredible right now. Having said that, you'd expect him to play without pressure tonight, taking the opposition into consideration.

7.47pmStaying with England and this time captain Gerrard. He believes that England are not as poor as they have been made out to be by some media outlets. Here's what he had to say yesterday:

"I don't think we're as weak as has been suggested. Realistically, everyone in the room knows we're not going to be one of the bookies' favourites to win the World Cup.

"It doesn't mean we can't get there and have a successful tournament to make the country proud. But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Our priority is to get there first. To qualify is the challenge. We want to qualify for the World Cup, go there and make the nation proud. We can do that without winning it. Playing at a World Cup is the pinnacle of any footballer's dream as a kid - especially in Brazil."


7.51pmOf course, England know all about Moldova, having defeated 5-0 away almost a year ago. Lampard scored two that night, while Jermain Defoe also found the net. Highlights below:


7.53pmAnd now for some quotes from Hodgson, who has been talking to ITV Sport: "I'm happy with the team we have on the pitch. The team is very much aware of the task ahead. What we've asked [Lambert] to do is what he does every week for his club side. It sounds easy enough, but stepping up at Wembley is not the easiest of tasks. I think he has the mental strength to do it."

7.55pmThe players are now out on the pitch and the Moldovan national anthem has just struck up. Have to say, their players look a little nervous, while the visiting supporters lap up the occasion. It will be the biggest night of their lives from some.

1 minGAME ON! Here we go then. Moldova, kicking from right to left, get us started at Wembley.

3 minHalf a sight of goal for England as skipper Gerrard whips over a corner from the right. It's met by Lambert, but under pressure from his marker, the Southampton striker heads way over the crossbar. To be fair to him, it's a difficult chance, but a positive start for the home side nonetheless.

5 minCHANCE! Now that is a much better opportunity for Lambert. Cole's cross from the left is deflected to him and his strike is clean. However, the ball whistles past the post without troubling Stanislav Namasco in the away goal.

7 minElsewhere in this group, leaders Montenegro took an early lead in Poland, but Borussia Dortmund centre-forward Robert Lewandowski has just hit back for the home side. That's a big positive from an England point of view.

10 minGary Lineker with a bit of advice for Welbeck on Twitter:



11 minA first venture forward for Moldova and it is Dedov who breaks clear and looks to capitalise on Kyle Walker being caught out of position high up the pitch. His pass is poor, though, and the ball is collected by Phil Jagielka.

12 minGOAL! England 1-0 Moldova (Gerrard)

12 minTrademark Gerrard with a captain's goal for England. It starts with Welbeck down the left, who pulls the ball back for Lampard. He in turn tees up Gerrard 25 yards from goal and the midfielder drills the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Who says that those two can't play together?! Lovely goal for the home side - the first of many perhaps?

16 minAnother team in England's group are Ukraine, who started in third this evening. Well, they are making light work of San Marino. It's 6-0 and they've only just started the second half!

20 minSUBSTITUTION: An early change for the away side because attacking midfielder Ionita has picked up an injury. He's been replaced by Alexandru Onica, who plays his club football in Uzbekistan.

23 minIt's all gone a little bit flat from an England point of view. The passes aren't sticking and in truth, the goal hasn't had the sort of impact that you might of expected. Instead having a high intensity, it all seems a little laboured. The crowd are rather quiet as well.

26 minSAVE! Much, much better from England. Lambert and Gerrard link to free up Wilshere, who skips his way into the Moldova penalty area. He shoots with his weaker right foot, but it still draws a decent save out of Namasco. The resultant corner comes to nothing, but it's more positive from the Three Lions.

27 minGOAL! England 2-0 Moldova (Lambert)

27 minTwo international matches and two goals, you can't argue with that. Namasco first denies Lampard, but then flaps at the rebound effort by Walcott. There is Lambert, lurking at the back post and he stoops to head the ball into an empty net. Just as he did against Scotland, the frontman celebrates with a huge smile on his face. England are cruising now.

31 minOh dear Welbeck. He exchanges passes with Cole on the left byline and opts to cut inside. Both Lambert and Wilshere provide him with options, but he attempts to curl the ball in from 25 yards out. The Man United striker gets it all wrong, though, and it sails well over the crossbar.

35 minA fact from Matthew Dunn of The Express on Twitter: "Rickie Lambert is the only man to score in his first two England games for 37 years. Former U21 boss Peter Taylor was the last."

39 minLampard goes in search of his first of the night from a free kick 30 yards from goal. The anticipation builds inside Wembley, but after Gerrard touches the ball in his direction, he fires an effort straight into the Moldova wall. Maybe they can't play in the same side after all!

43 minBOOKING! The first yellow card of the contest goes to England's Welbeck, who shot for goal even though the whistle had been blown for offside. It's a costly caution because he is now suspended for Tuesday's meeting in Ukraine. Hodgson is not happy with the official and you can understand why. That was a harsh decision.

45 minGOAL! England 3-0 Moldova (Welbeck)

45 minIt seems that Welbeck has taken his frustration out on the Moldova goal, although he couldn't really miss. It's poor goalkeeping from Namasco, who comes for the ball but shows the bravery of a mouse. That allows Welbeck to nip in and roll the ball into an unguarded. No celebration from the striker because he is still fuming at that caution.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: England 3-0 Moldova

8.53pmAs expected, it's been a stroll in the park for England. They are 3-0 up and waltzing their way to victory. With the way that Namasco is performing in the Moldova goal, you wouldn't bet against them adding a few more after the restart.

8.54pmIt may also be the perfect opportunity to give Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend their bows at senior international level. It's unlikely that either will feature in Ukraine next week, so why not now? There won't be many better chances to give both youngsters a run out. Barkley in particular has impressed for Everton this season.

8.57pmSadly, one of the main talking points from that first half has centred around Welbeck and not for his goal. Having seen replays of his booking, it looks a poorer decision each time. The whistle was blown just before he attempted the shot, so I'm not too sure what else he was meant to do. We've just seen footage of England coach Gary Neville telling the referee what he thought of that verdict as they headed down the tunnel at the break.

8.59pmWelbeck has his critics and some of them are justified because he perhaps doesn't score enough goals. But he's a talented player and in Ukraine, where England are likely to play on the counter-attack, he is going to be missed. He has the pace and skill that would have caused problems in Kiev so it has given Hodgson a bit of a dilemma.

9.01pmTalking of Ukraine, they've finished against San Marino. They only ended up with nine unanswered goals, so nothing to fear there evidently!

46 minRESTART! As the second half gets underway, England have made a change. Ashley Cole has been given a breather and on in his place at left-back is Everton's Leighton Baines.

50 minTo be fair to them, Moldova have actually started the second half in a positive fashion. Okay they haven't had a shot or anything crazy like that, but they have had a spell of possession in the England half and have committed more than two players forward. Progress!

51 minGOAL! England 4-0 Moldova (Welbeck)

51 minLovely goal from Welbeck, who further proves the point that he will be missed on Tuesday night. Lambert is the creator, slotting the ball beyond the Moldova defence. Welbeck reacts quickly and beats Namasco to the ball. From there it's all about his composure and he shows plenty of it to lift the ball into the net with a deft touch.

55 minA statistic from the guys at Opta on Twitter: "Danny Welbeck has scored with seven of his eight shots on target for England. Sharp." That is some return.

59 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Debut time for teenager Barkley, who has replaced Wilshere. No injury for the Arsenal man, just resting him ahead of Kiev you would anticipate. Another change for the away side as well as the attack-minded Suvorov replaces Bulgaru.

63 minFormer England striker Stan Collymore making a fair point on Twitter: "R Lambert has done everything you want from a striker. Shown for the ball,held it up, scored, assisted, worked hard. Keep him in."

65 minBy the way, Montenegro are still drawing 1-1 in Poland. If it stays like that, England will go top of the group on goal difference. Meanwhile, back at Wembley, Welbeck has just headed over from a Gerrard cross.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: An indication that Lambert will play in Ukraine? He's just been replaced with 20 minutes left by James Milner. With Welbeck and Wayne Rooney out, as well as Daniel Sturridge struggling for fitness, it appears that Hodgson is planning to start him next time out.

73 minThis game is starting to dwindle out now. The outcome has been known for some time, but it does seem that both sides might have settled for this scoreline.

77 minCHANCE! Just as I say that, Barkley almost lights things up with a debut goal. It's Gerrard pulling the strings, picking out the Everton youngster. He takes one touch, before drilling the ball across Namasco, only for it to skid a yard wide of the target.

80 minSAVE! It was slightly unorthodox, but Namasco somehow keeps Lampard out. It's a cracking shot from the midfielder, which looks to be creeping inside the near post. The Moldova goalkeeper sticks out his leg, though, and diverts the ball over the top. I don't think he knew much about it, but any keeper will tell you that it doesn't matter how you save it, as long as you do!

85 minSUBSTITUTION: Final alteration of the night for Moldova as Gheorghiev comes off and on in his place is attacking midfielder Pascenco. Seconds later, Walker flashes a volley from a narrow angle over the away side's bar.

90 minJust the two added minutes of stoppage time will be played as England shut this game down with some neat passing play.

90+1 minCHANCE! Oh dear Mr Milner, that is awful. Gerrard picks him out all alone at the back post, but he gets his volley technique all wrong and he lifts the ball embarrassingly over the crossbar. Good job that doesn't matter!

90+2 minFULL TIME: England 4-0 Moldova

9.50pmMinus the Welbeck booking, it's been a good evening for England. They've scored four unanswered goals and go top of the group because Montenegro couldn't find a winner in Poland. It's now on to the big one in Ukraine.

9.51pmThanks for joining us this evening on Sports Mole and be sure to check back shortly for our analysis of the clash. Until next time, goodbye.

England manager Roy Hodgson during a press conference on June 1, 2013
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