Hodgson became the first manager of the Eagles to win at Old Trafford in the Premier League era.
He said: "The key was the defensive discipline, the shape of the team, the enormous work rate and effort and the fact that people did very well to stick to the script at all times. We were getting asked a lot of questions, which we knew would; we'd seen them play against Wolves and Chelsea.
"We knew that if we didn't seal the spaces, if we didn't make certain that when we lost the ball we got back into our shape and let them have the ball in spaces that are less dangerous to us, they'd score goals.
"We rode our luck with the penalty; I thought this is going to be tricky now if they score this penalty. But when we got away with that one I was rather hoping we'd see it out 1-0, as it turned out we got through 2-1 thanks to a good piece of work from Wilf and James McCarthy."