England defeated Moldova 5-0 tonight amidst a mini injury crisis in an impressively efficient performance. Despte the obvious gulf in the scoreline the difference in class must temper the player ratings slightly. So here are the player ratings from England’s opening World Cup Qualifier in Chisinau.
Joe Hart – 5
Harsh maybe but he had one thing of note to do in the entire game and he fluffed it with a poor effort at a punch from an in swinging Moldova free-kick. Will have more to do against Ukraine at Wembley.
Glen Johnson – 8
Brilliant going forward including a delightful assist for the second goal. Again he just seems insistent on switching off defensively, giving away the odd silly foul.
John Terry – 8
In a word; solid. Composed and dominant in the air and moved the ball well on a difficult surface. Worryingly picked up an injury late on so could be a doubt for the Ukraine game.
Joleon Lescott – 6
Disappointing against very poor opposition. Clumsy at times and lost his marker for Moldova’s best chance, a header in the first half. Needs to be more switched on against Ukraine.
Leighton Baines – 8
Utilised a lot of space down the left hand side and was solid defensively. Linked up well with Oxlade-Chamberlain on on more than one occasion and even grabbed, a dubious, goal from a free-kick to put the cherry on top of England’s performance.
Frank Lampard – 8
Got sloppy toward the end of the game but for the most part was composed and solid in the centre of the park. Took his penalty with expected self-assurance as well as heading home his second comfortably to seal a brace.
Steven Gerrard – 6
Lee Dixon thought he had a good first half. I didn’t see it. Too busy forcing the pass and he seemed, at times, detached from the game. Substituted at half time for Michael Carrick.
Tom Cleverley – 9
Man of the match. Worked tirelessly throughout the game and his ball retention and passing ability was a lesson for the Moldovan players. Intricate in the scoring of Milner’s goal and moved possession along too fast for the lacklustre opposition this was a brilliant first competitive start for England.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8
Played really well in the first half. Dynamic and powerful; Moldova had little answer to his head on style of play. Started to labour early in the second half and was taken off before his performance suffered.
James Milner – 7
Had a much better game after Walcott came on and he became more involved. Previously he was giving the ball away far too much for my liking but his fitness is a huge asset and when others toiled he shined in a good last 20 minutes including England’s fourth goal.
Jermain Defoe – 7
Didn’t really do much but when he shoots he usually scores. That’s what he did and it warrants a solid 7.
Michael Carrick – 6
Average. Expectedly decent when passing but a shocking defensive header could have been costly against better opposition.
Theo Walcott – 6
His pace would always be a problem against a slow Moldova side but despite laying on Milner’s goal he has this habit of being almost unwatchable in how infuriating he can become.
Danny Welbeck – 6
Solid cameo. Played a part in the Milner goal and was a handful for Moldova’s defenders.
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