Newcastle’s winless start to the 2021/22 Premier League season continued as they held Brighton to a 1-1 draw at The AMEX on Saturday.
Graeme Jones led the team for the third match in a row, with Eddie Howe watching on from the stands, and failed to pick up the club’s first win of the campaign.
Leandro Trossard scored from the spot to hand Brighton the lead after Ciaran Clark was penalised, before Isaac Hayden rescued a point with a goal in the second half.
Whilst the former Arsenal man scored the goal to earn the Magpies a point, another player was Jones’ real hero against the Seagulls – Jacob Murphy.
The Englishman was brought in at right wing-back ahead of Javier Manquillo and put in an excellent performance to prove that he was deserving of his place in the side. Jones will surely have been left delighted by the ex-Norwich player’s display, as he was able to get up and down the right flank for Newcastle.
Defensively, he was excellent. Per SofaScore, he won nine of his 14 ground duels throughout the match. He also made an eye-catching five tackles and three interceptions, whilst he did not allow a single Brighton player to dribble past him down the right.
Hayden, meanwhile, won six ground duels in the middle of the park, as he made five tackles and one interception for the side. This shows how Murphy made more of an impact defensively than the holding midfielder and was able to impose himself physically on the Brighton players, keeping Marc Cucurella under wraps. The Spanish Brighton left-back ended the match with two attempted dribbles and a success rate of 0%, showing how well Murphy defended.
On the ball, there was room for improvement. Per SofaScore, he only completed 67% of his passes, but he did win three fouls and complete one dribble. The defender also attempted four crosses, although none of his teammates were able to get on the end of them. This shows that he still offered a useful outlet, despite his passing leaving a bit to be desired.
Therefore, overall he was the real hero for Jones as he was given a huge opportunity to come in and perform and he grasped his opportunity with both hands. He may have also caught the attention of Howe watching on from the stands, who no doubt would have been delighted with his imapct.