Hughton gave a ringing endorsement to central defensive pairing of Sol Campbell and Steven Taylor.
Neither had played a league game this season but were drafted in for the visit of the champions and came out with heads held high.
Hughton said: "Sol and Steven were part of an outstanding defensive team.
"Both have not played much and for both to get through as difficult a game is a testament to their characters."
Campbell, 36, said: "It's always nice to get that first game back and whenever the chance comes, you have to take it."