Houllier suffered three late withdrawals in Emile Heskey (back), Luke Young (hamstring) and Marc Albrighton (illness) and was forced to bring in John Carew, Stephen Ireland and Habib Beye as their replacements and they all performed well.
Houllier said: "The only thing missing from a good game was goals. It was football played at a great pace between two good sides.
"We had the better chances in the first half but we were under the cosh in the second half before coming back at the end.
"We had to make late changes but I want to pay homage to the players who filled in and the way they responded. They showed great attitude and a great spirit."