The Reds headed to St James’ Park knowing victory was paramount, but Rafa Benitez was true to his word as the Magpies made it difficult for them throughout.
But after Salomon Rondon’s leveller, and a head injury that forced Salah off, a tense finale played out and, fortunately, Divock Origi headed home the winner that left Klopp cherishing the “league final” ahead.
“We could talk about football tonight; we could talk purely about showing real heart, showing real passion, showing real desire,” he told reporters after the game.
“It’s just brilliant. I don’t say Newcastle didn’t show it, they showed it as well. Unbelievable.
“They gave us a proper game, but I think in our situation, with all the circumstances around, some people probably expected us to show a bit of nerves.
“The boys didn’t, it was just a difficult game for different reasons.”
Klopp was positive on Salah’s injury, despite fears of concussion, revealing that the Egyptian had watched the rest of the game in the dressing room, rather than being taken to hospital.
“He got, as I heard, the hip of the goalie on his head,” he explained.
“Then Mo stayed on the ground, the doc had to make a decision, on the pitch or off the pitch, and the decision was off the pitch.
“We accept it, of course. When we came in he was sitting in the dressing room and he was watching the game.
“He was then fine, but of course we have to wait. He got a proper knock, obviously.”
The manager was less optimistic over the fitness of Firmino, ruling him out for the Champions League decider against Barcelona and casting doubt over his involvement on the final day against Wolves.
“He will not be ready on Tuesday, and the rest [of the season] we will see,” he said.
Barca take to Anfield in three days’ time, with a 3-0 lead from the first leg making it very tough for the Reds as they look to book their place in the final for the second season running.