Saturday, 8th September, 2012
England boss Roy Hodgson has saluted the impact of Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley in his side’s 5-0 victory over Moldova.
The match, away in the Eastern European country, was England’s first 2014 World Cup qualifier and Hodgson was delighted to see his team run away with a comfortable victory.
Frank Lampard opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the fourth minute, before adding a second 25 minutes later.
Jermain Defoe scored England’s third to send the Three Lions in 3-0 up at half-time, with James Milner and Leighton Baines then capping off the display with the fourth and fifth goals respectively in the second period.
For Hodgson the match had been a success and was vindication of his new-look midfield, with Cleverley operating in an advanced role.
And the former Finland coach was quick to salute Cleverley’s impression.
"Cleverley was excellent for 90 minutes and when you watch him, you understand why Sir Alex Ferguson is pleased with him", Hodgson was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"Tom’s come into a team alongside the likes of Lampard, Gerrard and Carrick and didn’t look at all out of place", added the England manager.
Hodgson’s team now face a tougher test with a match against the Ukraine to come on Tuesday evening.