Frank Lampard's double helped get England's World Cup qualifying campaign off to the ideal start following a crushing win over Moldova in Chisinau.

Lampard struck home a third minute penalty and headed in Glen Johsnon's cross to set England on their way before Jermain Defoe made it three before half-time.

James Milner and Leighton Baines both scored their first international goals to put the icing on the cake in the second half as Moldova were overwhelmed by an Three Lions side without the injured Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole.

Frank Lampard
Lampard netted twice as England cruised to victory. Reuters

After a European Championship campaign built on organisation and defensive stability, Roy Hodgson was looking to attached definition and identity to his England side as they kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign against Moldova, ranked 141 in the Fifa world rankings.

Without Rooney and Andy Carroll in attack due to injury, Hodgson was forced to partner Defoe with Tom Cleverley while Cole missed out on his 100th international cap with Baines stepping in at left back.

It took England just three minutes to continue from where they left off following their impressive friendly with against Italy in Berne, when Cleverley's goal bound shot was adjudged to have been handled by Simeon Bulgaru, giving Lampard the chance to open the scoring from the spot, which he duly took with aplomb.

The visitors piled on the pressure, with Defoe twice tricking his way through, first as Baines' cross was fired into path and then when Stanislav Namasco denied him from eight yards.

Steven Gerrard, returning as captain after being rested against Italy, struck a free-kick over the bar, before Glen Johnson's cross found the onrushing Lampard, who doubled England's lead with a simple header.

Cleverley immediately struck the post, as Hodgson's side smelt blood, but from the very next attack, and with barely half an hour on the clock, Defoe converted after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drifted in behind the Moldovan midfield and threaded a pass for the Tottenham Hotspur forward to net his 17th England goal.

Igor Armas should have cut the deficit but headed wide of Joe Hart's left-hand post in the twilight of the second half as England's standards slipped but they soon recovered when substitute pair Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott combined to set up James Milner, who slammed home from 20 yards.

Baines netted a fortunate fifth following a heavily deflected free-kick as Moldova, without a goal in 2012, crumbled in the latter stages allowing Hodgson's side to run out comfortable winners.