With Lucas Leiva also serving a one-match suspension, Hodgson was forced to select Raul Meireles and Christian Poulsen in the centre of midfield - two players brought to Anfield by the boss in the summer.
The manager said: "Christian is a good player. As I've said before, if you can pay a price for being too honest, I think he may have done that in one or two of the earlier games when the team wasn't playing well and he's tried to do perhaps a little bit too much.
"But I always knew he is a very good footballer and today in a good team he showed what a good player he is.
"Raul was very good. The important thing for us is to get Raul Meireles on the ball, and he'd have got on the ball today in whatever position he played in midfield because we passed the ball quite well and got the ball into the midfield players."