Newcastle United were missing Jacob Murphy from the matchday squad last night as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad.

Jacob Murphy has become an important player for Eddie Howe at Newcastle and it was clear that he was missed yesterday as Howe had to bring on debutant Tino Livramento to replace a tiring Miguel Almiron.

On any other day you’d bank on Eddie Howe bringing on ‘devastatingJacob Murphy in that situation and with all due respect to Livramento, last night was one of those times where he could have had a bigger impact.

Howe was asked about the absence of Jacob Murphy

Eddie Howe was asked in his post-match press conference where Murphy was after rumours popped up on social media. In a clip posted to X by The Chronicle, Howe replied: “His partner was due to give birth before the game, I don’t know what happened during the game so we wish him and his family very well.”

I suppose we can let him off with that one, eh? Congratulations to the Murphys.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It was obviously good news for Jacob Murphy, but also Tino Livramento who got to make his Newcastle debut operating on the right flank.

Newcastle fans got their first glimpse of Tino Livramento

Many fans saw it as a positive sign of Livramento’s versatility showing that he can be more than just cover for Kieran Trippier.

Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Unfortunately for the youngster, his introduction came at a time where all the urgency had gone from the game and Manchester City were back controlling possession so he wasn’t given an awful lot to do.

All being well Murphy will likely be back in the squad to face Liverpool next week, but it’ll be interesting to see if Howe uses Livramento again with Murphy back as an option.

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