Match Analysis: Moldova 0-5 England

Frank Lampard
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at England's comprehensive 5-0 win over Moldova this evening.

England opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Moldova this evening.

Goals from Frank Lampard (2), Jermain Defoe, James Milner and Leighton Baines gave England the perfect start on their road to Brazil.

However, the Three Lions will face tougher tests than tonight during the qualifiers, and Roy Hodgson will take both positives and negatives from the game.

Here, Sports Mole dissects England's comfortable win.

Match Statistics:

Moldova:
Shots: 9
On target: 4
Possession: 46%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 9

England:
Shots: 17
On target: 11
Possession: 54%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 6

Was the result fair?

Definitely. It was going to take a massive shock for the result to be anything but an England win, but Roy Hodgson's men deserved the five-goal margin too. The early goal helped and, although England let off a bit in the second half, they thoroughly deserved all three points and all five goals.

Moldova's performance

Pretty poor, but what else would you expect from a team ranked number 141 in the world? They did have a couple of spells where they enjoyed a prolonged period of possession, but overall they were dominated by a superior team.

England's performance

Roy Hodgson couldn't really ask for anything more. A 5-0 win away from home is a good result at any level, and the perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign. It was by no means a perfect result - they gave Moldova chances that better teams would have converted - but the positives outweigh the negatives.

Sports Mole's man of the match

There are a number of candidates for this, all unsurprisingly from England. Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard and Jermain Defoe all played well, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would have got the man of the match if he had been left on for longer. However, I'm going to give it to Glen Johnson, who worked tirelessly down the right flank and provided a fine cross from Lampard's second.

Biggest gaffe

Unsurprisingly, a match involving the 141st-best side in the world didn't pass without mistakes, and the biggest of which was Stanislav Namasco's goalkeeping for Defoe's goal. The Moldova keeper should never have been beaten at his near post by the effort, and will be disappointed when he looks back at the replays.

Referee's performance

A sign of a referee having a good game is not noticing him, and for 87 minutes I didn't. The big talking point came in the third minute, though, when the ref awarded England a penalty. The ball definitely struck the defender's hand, but it would have been nigh-on impossible for him to get it out the way in time. Nevertheless, Cleverley's shot was probably going in, so I think the ref made the right decision, and had a good game overall.

What next?

Moldova: Moldova will continue their quest for a first win and a first goal in 2012 when they face Poland on Tuesday

England: England, meanwhile, will face a much tougher test when they host Ukraine at Wembley, also on Tuesday.

Roy Hodgson
Read Next:
Half-Time Report: Moldova 0-3 England
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