Gerard Houllier was quick to defend Ashley Young following criticism from Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew after Aston Villa's 1-0 victory.
Pardew accused Young of going to ground too easily after watching the Villa winger win the free-kick which ultimately sank his side at Villa Park.
Young went down under a challenge from Newcastle captain Joey Barton and the resulting set-piece saw the England man swing the ball in for James Collins to glance in the only goal of the game after 24 minutes as Villa clinched three vital points in their bid to avoid relegation.
Yet Houllier said: "It was a free-kick and even the fourth official said it was a free-kick.
"He definitely didn't go down cheaply. Even the fourth official confirmed that. No, no, no. Ashley is a tricky player. He is like an eel."
Houllier felt his side were worthy of a win which lifts them five points clear of the relegation zone, adding: "I think we deserved it. We showed desire, commitment and battling qualities, which are a must in this sort of situation."