The Champions League trip marked a return for former Rossonero midfielder Tonali.
Howe said this morning: "It's worth remembering he's still a really young player.
"I was really pleased with the reaction he got from the Milan fans. I think that was a real mark of a few things - of how Sandro conducted himself in Milan, how good a player he is, recognition from a group of supporters that he gave everything for the club. It's great for Sandro but also for us, it's also a mark of what a big talent he is.
"It would have been an emotional game for him, an emotional night, I have no doubt, but I think he handled himself really well and he is probably pleased the game is out of the way and he can focus on the rest of the season with us."
On Murphy, who was visibly excited about the experience, Howe also stated: "I wouldn't say it was being overwhelmed, I'd say it was taking it all in. For a lot of our players, that would be a milestone in their career and I think Jacob was savouring the moment.
"I thought he was magnificent for us last year and never let us down, he always contributed. I think the big thing for me is he is very, very reliable. You know what you're going to get from him. Defensively he's very good and he's an attacking threat as well. I thought he did a really good job for the team [in Milan]."