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.
|9||D. Welbeck||45+1' 45+1' 51'|
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
for A. Cole 46'
for J. Wilshere 59'
for R. Lambert 71'
|Barcelona 6 Getafe 0: Messi and Suarez star in rout|
|Kazim-Richards makes permanent Feyenoord switch|
|Espanyol reported for alleged abuse in Barcelona game|
|Southampton stars not for sale - Reed|
|Newcastle slam ´misleading´ media reports|
|Guingamp talisman Beauvue eyes Premier League switch|
|Stuttgart reject Stevens replacement talk|
|Inzaghi hits out at Milan bust-up rumours|
|Cahill is England´s best centre-back, says Terry|
|Benteke not focused on transfer talk - Kismet|
|Simeone relaxed over Atletico criticism|
|Garcia takes blame for Roma form|
|Ancelotti hints at Hernandez mistake|
|Focus on Fiorentina, not Real - Allegri|
|Lahm eager for return of Bayern trio|
|Pique and Vermaelen left out of Barca squad|
|Cavani going nowhere, says PSG president|
|Abramovich delighted with Chelsea season - Mourinho|
|Giroud backs Arsenal for title challenge|
|Trio offer support after Belgian footballer collapses|
|Tonelli denies making death threats|
|Bosnich pleads guilty to reckless driving|
|Baines predicts ´huge future´ for Stones|
|Montreal Impact v America: Canadians draft in goalkeeper|
|Rakitic: Barca targeting treble|
|Australia´s Franjic quits Torpedo Moscow over unpaid wages|
|Kagawa: Dortmund owe Klopp a trophy|
|Zabaleta: Pellegrini deserves more respect|
|Liverpool will challenge next season - Rodgers|
|´Eternal pessimist´ Howe applauds Bournemouth´s impending promotion|
|Moreirense 1 Sporting Lisbon 4: Montero double keeps title hopes alive|
|Bournemouth 3 Bolton Wanderers 0: Howe´s men on the verge of the Premier League|
|Valencia 4 Granada 0: Hosts resume fourth place with thrashing|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Besiktas back on top as Fenerbahce slip|
|Denis hit with five-game ban for dressing-room attack|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Ajman relegated, Al Jazira close in on second|
|Zanetti: Icardi close to signing new deal|
|Pfaff hails Neuer´s consistency|
|Blanc: PSG can cope with physical demands|
|Bruce: Premier League must act on ticketing prices|
|Milan v Genoa: Off-field problems dominate build-up for Inzaghi´s men|
|Juventus v Fiorentina: Champions seek derby reaction with title in sight|
|Arminia Bielefeld v Wolfsburg: Hecking´s men in last-chance saloon|
|Real Madrid v Almeria: Rodriguez vows to fight until the end|
|Klopp ´an option´ to replace Guardiola at Bayern|
|Home form crucial for Premier League survival, says Bruce|
|Leicester City v Chelsea: Mourinho backs Pearson´s men to survive|
|Villarreal v Atletico Madrid: Marcelino´s men bidding to end winless run|
|Bundesliga title a footnote in Bayern´s grand plans|
|Robben back as Guardiola calls for focus|
|Mancini: Be patient with Shaqiri, Podolski|
|Klopp shrugs off Gundogan speculation|
|Run-in does not favour Barca - Luis Enrique|
|Mourinho takes further swipe at ´boring´ claims|
|Watford must spend smart, says Hyde|
|Allegri saddened by derby crowd trouble|
|Thompson ´mortified´ after throwing pole into team-mate´s leg|
|Hernandez not concerning himself with future|
|Stranzl to play no further part in Gladbach season|
|Rodgers keen to address lack of goals|
|Giroud cannot fire Arsenal to title - Henry|
|Do not destroy Sterling, says Campbell|
|Fournier: Lyon still dreaming|
|United performance Stones´ best - Martinez|
|Carver: Abuse from fans unacceptable|
|No shame in second place - Pellegrini|
|Humble Hazard thrilled with PFA honour|
|La Liga Preview: Real continue Barca pursuit against Almeria|
|Serie A Preview: Roma eye much-needed win|
|MLS Review: Toronto end drought, Red Bulls stay unbeaten|
|Chelsea to face Sydney in June|
|Liverpool can attract players - Rodgers|
|Bayern celebrate three-peat|
|Hernandez form forces Ancelotti´s hand|
|Hazard crowned PFA Players´ Player of the Year|
|Weidenfeller ruled out of Dortmund-Bayern semi-final|
|Weidenfeller ruled out of Dortmund-Bayern semi-final|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lens´ fate all but sealed, Lyon return top|
|La Liga Review: Hernandez rescues Real, Sevilla up to fourth|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Metz: Injuries prove a frustration for Blanc|
|Serie A Review: Juve made to wait as Parma fight another day|
|Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 4: Hernandez to the rescue again|
|Barcelona v Getafe: Iniesta keen to maintain momentum|
|Milan players in ´retreat´|
|United have opened the door for Liverpool - Van Gaal|
|Mourinho hits back at Arsenal fans´ ´boring´ jibes|
|Juve were own worst enemy in derby defeat – Allegri|
|Bundesliga Review: Gladbach victory ends title race|
|Udinese v Inter: Mancini braced for crucial week|
|Primeira Liga Review: O Classico tie leaves Benfica on the brink|
|Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund: Klopp prepares for final Klassiker|
|Russian Premier League Review: Zenit edge closer to glory, Amkar Perm off the bottom|
|Arsenal played with handbrake on - Wenger|
|Mourinho swerves Oscar discussion to hail Terry display|
|Bayern´s title confirmed as Wolfsburg stumble at Gladbach|
|Eredivise Review: Late leveller see Ajax secure Champions League berth|
|Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0: Oscar decision in the spotlight after stalemate|
|Van Gaal bemoans lack of fighting spirit|
|Van Gaal: United to assess Rooney injury|
|Torino 2 Juventus 1: First derby defeat since 1995 puts title celebrations on hold|
|Martinez hails Everton´s ´incredible mentality´ after beating United|
|Everton 3 Manchester United 0: Martinez outwits Van Gaal in comprehensive win|
|Dundee United 0 Celtic 3: Griffiths´ hat-trick edges champions closer to title|
|Alderweireld reveals he has broken shoulder bone|
|Hull City v Liverpool: Lovren expecting another test of patience|
|Leverkusen dealt Papadopoulos blow|
|Five in a row for Champions League winners Auckland|
|Vermaelen cleared to play in Barca run-in|
|Hughes buoyed by Odemwingie return|
|Allardyce hails Adrian heroics|
|Villa confident of staying up - Sherwood|
|Zorc rejects talk of Gundogan departure|
|´Happy´ Hazard rejects talk of Chelsea exit|
|A-League Review: Victory claim Premiers´ Plate|
|Pochettino hoping to strengthen|
|Pjanic critical of Roma spirit|
|Rodgers: No room for error now|
|MLS Review: Revolution win big as Dynamo, Kansas City draw|
|Garcia rues sloppy build-up play|
|Jokanovic eyes title for Watford|
|Blanc: PSG have moved on|
|Hazard worth ´£100m each leg´ - Mourinho|
|Ferguson: United boss can break my trophy record|
|Levante leap clear of La Liga drop zone|
|Primeira Liga Review: Gil Vicente claim vital win, Estoril and Rio Ave held|