Danny Welbeck scored twice as England cruised to a 4-0 win over Moldova at Wembley in their FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday.
Roy Hodgson's side took the lead in the 12th minute through a 20-yard effort from captain Steven Gerrard and they never looked back.
In his first England start, Rickie Lambert headed in a second before Welbeck struck either side of half-time to delight the 61,607-strong crowd.
The result was significant for England, who moved to the top of Group H on goal difference.
England now have 15 points from seven matches, while Montenegro – who drew 1-1 with Poland on Friday – also have the same tally, but from one game extra.
Ukraine are snapping at both of their heels on 14 points from seven games after thrashing San Marino 9-0, and with just one side automatically qualifying for next year's tournament in Brazil, the stakes will be high in the remainder of the group stages.
Chelsea pair Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole returned to Hodgson's starting line-up for England, while Lambert was involved from the start after scoring the winner on debut against Scotland last month.
Wayne Rooney was the headline exclusion for the hosts, with the Manchester United forward still suffering from a head injury, while Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley dropped to the bench.
Moldova, who made four changes themselves, were quickly on the back foot as winger Theo Walcott won England a corner inside the first 90 seconds.
Lambert headed the chance over, while he thrashed an effort wide shortly after, as England started brightly, and they soon had the lead.
The goal was created down the left, as Cole and Welbeck combined nicely, before Lampard laid off for Gerrard.
And the Liverpool star beat Moldova goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco with a fizzing strike from distance that went in off the inside of the post.
Walcott had a goal ruled out for offside in the aftermath, while Jack Wilshere and Lampard tested Namasco in a two-minute spell that ended with a second goal for the hosts.
Moldova repeatedly failed to clear the ball and England's constant attacks eventually bore fruit, as Namasco could only parry a Walcott effort to an unguarded Lambert, who headed home from two yards.
Walcott and Welbeck had further opportunities, while a neat Moldova move saw Sergiu Gheorghiev shoot well wide under pressure from Phil Jagielka.
England sealed their victory on the stroke of half-time, though, as Welbeck, who was booked for ignoring an offside flag – which will rule him out of Tuesday's qualifier in Ukraine – responded within a minute with a goal.
Lambert supplied Welbeck with an inch-perfect cross and the Manchester United forward took a touch beyond the hapless Namasco and tapped in to give his country a 3-0 lead at the break.
It took just five minutes in the second half for England to extend their lead, as Lambert and Welbeck combined to superb effect again.
Lambert drifted out to the left to win the ball and split the defence with a neat ball, and Welbeck did the rest, dinking over the onrushing Namasco.
The match petered out after the fourth goal, as Hodgson introduced Baines, debutant Ross Barkley and James Milner off the bench, but there was still time for Welbeck to head over.
Barkley showed excellent skill to avoid several challenges before shooting just wide, and Welbeck, Lampard, Kyle Walker and Milner also went close, as England eventually settled for a four-goal victory.
England now travel to Kiev on Tuesday for a crucial fixture against Ukraine.
|D. Welbeck||45+1' 45+1' 51'|
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
for A. Cole 46'
for J. Wilshere 59'
for R. Lambert 71'
|Bundesliga is the best, says Ribery|
|Olsen pens new Denmark deal|
|Premier League Preview: West Ham v Sunderland|
|Howedes and Draxler out until new year|
|Sakho targeting Europe return with Liverpool|
|Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich v Hamburg|
|Vorm to undergo knee surgery|
|Mkhitaryan lauds Dortmund spirit|
|Young unconcerned by ´diver´ tag|
|Higuain gutted after ´injustice´|
|Berlusconi blasts ´deliquents´ after violence|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Arsenal|
|Poyet calls for Sunderland patience|
|Neymar happy after hat-trick|
|Martinez hails ´special´ Deulofeu|
|Mourinho wants ´King Didier´ reunion|
|Villas-Boas aims for perfect Europa League record|
|De Boer: Milan unworthy of last-16 spot|
|Colombia Primera A: Deportivo Cali 0 Atletico Nacional 0|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Monterrey v Raja Casablanca|
|Fonseca berates Porto defence|
|Copa Sudamericana: Lanus 2 Ponte Preta 0 (3-1 agg)|
|Klopp blasts wasteful Dortmund despite win|
|Yakin rues Ivanov red card, Basel´s Euro exit|
|Atletico ´hungry´ for success, says Garcia|
|Allegri relieved as Milan progress|
|Martino lauds ´amazing´ Neymar|
|De Laurentiis: Napoli will take Europa League seriously|
|Lennon slams ´weak´ Celtic|
|Wenger feels for eliminated Napoli|
|Matip: Win was for coach Keller|
|Marseille should not be ashamed, says Anigo|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Anigo eyes Marseille revival, Monaco target PSG|
|Chelsea always in control, says Mourinho|
|UEFA Champions League: Marseille 1 Borussia Dortmund 2|
|UEFA Champions League: Barcelona 6 Celtic 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Milan 0 Ajax 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Austria Vienna 4 Zenit St Petersburg 1|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 2 Auckland City 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Napoli 2 Arsenal 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Atletico Madrid 2 Porto 0|
|Schwarzer makes Champions League history|
|Kisenkov handed six-match spitting suspension|
|Bruce happy with Sagbo impact|
|Valencia eager to attract investment|
|Roux not focused on World Cup selection|
|Corinthians name Menezes as new coach|
|Too early for top-four talk, insists Cabaye|
|Tottenham to fast-track Vertonghen recovery|
|Beaten Conte critical of conditions|
|Ibrahimovic hails PSG youngsters|
|Honda to join Milan in January|
|Giaccherini happy at Sunderland, says agent|
|UEFA Champions League: Galatasaray 1 Juventus 0|
|Baines eyes festive return|
|Boateng extends Bayern deal|
|Pieters tips De Jong for Stoke|
|Arrasate talks up Champions League impact|
|Spalletti expects Vienna test|
|Juventus ´not interested´ in Kolarov|
|Fonseca calls for Porto balance|
|Dalglish backs Suarez to shine on world stage|
|Brunt: West Brom are no Mickey Mouse club|
|Klopp unsure over Marseille sacking effect|
|Howson in ´best form´|
|Ronaldo grounded despite record haul|
|Liverpool´s Kelly fighting fit|
|Guardiola calm over Champions League defeat|
|Bony boost for Swansea|
|A-League Preview: Mariners eye perfect 10 against Reds|
|Lucescu laments Donetsk performance|
|Michel: Olympiacos deserved knockout-stage spot|
|Pellegrini displays Munich confusion|
|Delaney credits Copenhagen second-half display|
|Sociedad president learns lessons from exit|
|Jesus believes Benfica deserved to progress|
|Vrba delighted with ´amazing´ Moscow win|
|Hyypia hails Leverkusen belief|
|Second-half show disappoints Blanc|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Maribor v Wigan Athletic|
|Moyes eyes UEFA Champions League glory|
|Lahm takes positive from City loss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: St Gallen v Swansea|
|Van den Brom slams ´outrageous´ referee|
|Ancelotti pinpoints potential Manchester City threat|
|Juventus and Galatasaray to finish on Wednesday|
|Slutsky: Dzagoev dismissal changed the game|
|UEFA Champions League: Viktoria Plzen 2 CSKA Moscow 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Real Sociedad 0 Bayer Leverkusen 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Olympiacos 3 Anderlecht 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Benfica 2 Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3|
|UEFA Champions League: Manchester United 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 0|
|UEFA Champions League: Copenhagen 0 Real Madrid 2|
|Galatasaray-Juventus fixture abandoned|
|Lennon: Celtic supporters best in the world|
|De Boer: No favourite between Milan and Ajax|
|Evergrande face Jeonbuk in AFC Champions League draw|
|Allegri confident ahead of Ajax test|
|Klopp wary over Sahin return|
|Wenger ready for Champions League ´decider´|
|Keller urges Schalke caution|
|Blackstock´s season ended by knee injury|
|Busquets calls for Barca focus|
|Anigo hopeful ahead of Dortmund clash|
|Laudrup hints at keeper signing|
|Strootman staying with Roma|
|Petrov impressed with Villa midfielder Westwood|
|Deulofeu in no hurry over future|
|Allen not haunted by derby miss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tottenham v Anzhi Makhachkala|
|Giroud comfortable with rotation policy|
|Mourinho expects Cole to sign new deal|
|Horne plays down spot-fixing issue|
|Mourinho not expecting Champions League glory|
|Belief strong with Napoli - Benitez|
|Martino challenges Neymar|
|Williamson loving life at Newcastle|
|Barcelona chief: No reason to extend Messi deal|
|Kucka faces injury lay-off|
|Rafael expects United response|
|Ronaldo shrugs off Ballon d´Or talk|
|Larsson not seeking contract talks|
|Cannavaro backed by Materazzi|
|Guardiola rules out Neuer exit|
|Muntari keen to make Ajax ´suffer´|
|Brentford turn to Warburton|
|Benayoun seals QPR switch|
|Davies: Swansea got lucky|
|Bruce hopes for Graham run after breaking drought|
|Sevilla president Del Nido steps down|
|CSKA aim to topple Plzen|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Herediano, Alajuelense reach final|
|Solbakken ready for Real challenge|
|Lucescu wary of wounded United|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Belgrano finish with a win|
|Marseille to face Reims in Coupe de France|
|Marseille boss Anigo remains upbeat|
|We did not deserve to win, says Laudrup|
|Bury bring in Flitcroft|
|Primeira Liga: Vitoria Setubal 1 Academica 0|