Toby Alderweireld turned into his own net in the 90th minute at Anfield to hand the hosts a 2-1 victory and a crucial three points in their charge for the Premier League title.
Roberto Firmino had headed Klopp’s side in front after 16 minutes before Lucas Moura grabbed a deserved equaliser with 20 minutes left.
Spurs were on top for large parts of the latter exchanges but Hugo Loris could only palm Mohamed Salah’s header away at the death and Alderweireld failed to clear as the ball bounced off him and trickled over the line.
It was a huge slice of luck for Liverpool who could have been behind moments earlier as Moussa Sissoko fluffed his lines when through on goal.
Klopp was not his usual animated self on the bench despite the dramatic nature of the win.
“I was relatively calm [after the winning goal] because it was a surprise, that situation,” the German said. “I saw the header and nothing else. I had no clue how the ball went in.
“I was not happy we conceded but I thought we needed it a little bit. In the first half we had fantastic chances and scored a wonderful goal.
“In the second half we looked heavy and couldn’t really play. They changed only a little bit. We didn’t adapt well.”
Victory sent Klopp’s men back above title rivals Manchester City and to the top of the Premier League, but City know a win at home to struggling Cardiff on Wednesday will see the lead change hands again.
Klopp is looking to lead Liverpool to their first league title in 29 years and praised his side’s character after a vital win.
“After Spurs’ goal we started playing again more. We had bigger chances,” he added.
“We compete with the best team in the world [Manchester City] and play against one of best in the world in Tottenham – it is a tough task. It is all good.
“We can play better football but in the first half we had a lot of good moments. In the second not that many but we scored – 2-1, brilliant!
“City last year were champions and are still pretty good. We have to fight like crazy. The crowd was outstanding. They were really here to push us and at the end it helped.
“It is only positive. I said there are 500 ways to win a football game and today was slightly ugly. Who cares?
“I am really happy we don’t have any breaks now. We compete with the best team in world for one position and that is really hard.”