Frank Lampard will join Steven Gerrard in the England centurions' club if he keeps his place in Kiev on Tuesday, and as a World Cup qualifying game away to Ukraine is the sort of fixture that cries out for experience, it will be a major surprise if Roy Hodgson decides against handing the Chelsea midfielder his 100th cap.

The old idea that Lampard and Gerrard could never gel in the same midfield was knocked down as early as the 12th minute, when the former's short, sensible pass across the edge of the area was buried by the England captain for the opening goal. Lampard played the ball almost without looking up, yet he had no reason to expect Gerrard to have moved so far upfield.

Nor, crucially, had Moldova, since Gerrard had played almost all the game up to that point in his own half, staying back as the shield to allow Lampard and Jack Wilshere to take up the more advanced positions. Gerrard could even be seen helping out his defence near his own corner flag at one stage, clearly under instruction to play as the deepest element of the midfield trio, yet a couple of minutes later on what might well have been his first foray across the halfway line he turned up exactly where Lampard needed him to provide a firm finish to an incisive move.

Lampard also carries a goal threat, as he showed when he forced a save from the otherwise unimpressive Stanislav Namasco with a header, which will come in handy now that Danny Welbeck has joined the apparently endless list of unavailable strikers. Yet the real reason Hodgson will be tempted to leave his midfield well alone for the next game is that his present three offer the perfect blend of youth and experience, power and finesse.

Wilshere is the player to whom most of England's passes are directed now, and though his own passing accuracy let him down on a couple of occasions it was generally when attempting something ambitious. Wilshere plays without fear, to coin one of Fabio Capello's old expressions, he is not the sort to be intimidated by the England shirt or the responsibility of playing at Wembley. Especially not a Wembley only two-thirds full, when it was clear the opposition were not of the highest calibre.

Moldova are a tidier, more capable side than they are often given credit for, though England would have had to play very poorly indeed not to take three points from this match. That is part of the difficulty Hodgson faces, he has had a friendly against Scotland and a fairly undemanding outing against Moldova to get into shape for Kiev, which will be a totally different proposition.

It is a good thing Rickie Lambert is currently averaging a goal a game, since England are almost out of recognised strikers. That is why goals from midfield could be important, and Lampard and Gerrard have a decent record in providing those.

Lambert's first-half goal could not have been easier, a virtually unmissable opportunity, so the Southampton forward will have been pleased to provide a memorable assist for the next one, creating something out of nothing with an inspired lofted diagonal ball that Welbeck read well and dispatched expertly.

Even with the game won, Gerrard stayed back diligently in the second half. It used to be said he was wasted in such a defensive role, though it is perhaps easier to remain disciplined when a player as creative as Wilshere is ahead of you.

There was a delightful passage of play just before the fourth goal when Gerrard stretched to win the ball, nudged it to Wilshere, who immediately found Lampard. The move took England from the halfway line to Moldova's penalty area, but nothing came of it. That scarcely mattered after Gerrard's searching pass found Lambert on the left to help set up a second goal for Welbeck.

While England will not get so much time on the ball or find space on the pitch so easily against Ukraine, their experience in midfield should stand them in good stead. The three men in the middle know each other, and can play together. It is a pity the same cannot be said of the three who will play up front, whoever they might be, but as Hodgson has been around long enough to realise, in international management you can never have everything.