Midweek- Tough start for Lampard, Another different shorts socks variation in Man United third kit for 21/22

Here is a look at what happened as the Premier League returned to our televisions for the first time since the international break with a midweek set of fixtures. Two relegation threatened sides in the form of Burnley and Newcastle were in action, as were Everton, with Frank Lampard at the helm of affairs for his first PL game back in charge after leaving Chelsea.

Newcastle (Castore) 3-1 Everton (Hummel)
Burnley (Umbro) 1-1 Man Utd (Adidas)
West Ham (Umbro) 1-0 Watford (Kelme

Lampard’s first league game in charge of the Toffees didn’t go as expected, with the visitors slumping to a 3-1 defeat at St.James Park. Newcastle, who actually went behind in this game when Jamaal Lascelles put one into his own net, were dominant and ran out well deserved victors. Both teams played in their home kit here, and Newcastle’s win pulled them out of the drop zone. The Magpies were the heaviest spenders in the recently concluded winter window and Kieran Trippier, who moved from Atleti, scored a stunning free kick here. It could’ve been even worse for Everton- Chris Wood and Joelinton missed good chances, Jacob Murphy hit the post, and Allan-Saint Maximin was a constant threat.

The Magpies weren’t the only relegation threatened team to pick up vital points- Burnley also managed to draw against Man United at home. The Red Devils were expected to win comfortably in this fixture, and they should really have been out of sight by half time- such was their dominance. Paul Pogba scored a fine goal, United had two more disallowed by VAR, somewhat controversially, and Clarets keeper Nick Pope was a busy man as he made save after save to deny the likes of Rashford and Cavani. As the xG stats showed, this should’ve been a comfortable victory to United, but they dropped points, and as a result of their profligacy, they slipped out of the top four.

United were wearing their third kit in this fixture, and somewhat interestingly, had another set of shorts and socks that makes it three different variations in the uniform this season. This is the first time since 2018 that they’re using blue for the third kit, and had previously worn the third strip this season in the league against Brentford and Southampton.

COL 1

There was also success for another Umbro outfitted team in the form of West Ham, whose 1-0 win over Watford sent them back into the top four. There were questions over whether Kurt Zouma, who had been in the news for all the wrong seasons, would start here, but the Hammers’ defensive frailties and the thin margins for European football in the league made the Frenchman virtually undroppable for David Moyes.

They weren’t at their best- this wasn’t any great game for the neutrals, but did enough to get the points they wanted, with Jarrod Bowen scoring the winner midway through the second half. The winger has been in great form, and an England call up cannot be far away for the former Hull City star.