Celtic defeated Motherwell 2-1 at Fir Park to extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

The first half was an even game, with the hosts having the best opportunity which was well saved by Scott Bain.

The Hoops substitute goalkeeper pulled off another stop in the second 45 minutes to keep the game level.

However, the drama was just beginning in the fixture. Substitute Luis Palma thought he had scored the winning goal when his cross found its way into the back of the net with four minutes left.

There was another twist, though, when Blair Spittal equalised in the 96th minute.

But the Scottish champions kept going to the end and they won it in the most dramatic fashion when Matt O'Riley fired home just a minute later.

It was a phenomenal result for the Parkhead side, but what did The Celtic Way make of the game? Our writers have their say on today's proceedings...

Scott Bain impresses

The 31-year-old equipped himself well between the sticks. His distribution was solid throughout the match as he made only his second competitive start of the calendar year. Filling in for Joe Hart, who was suspended after his red card against Livingston last week, was always going to be difficult after going so long without regular football. However, he did well to make a crucial save from Blair Spittal in the first half to keep things level going into the break. He was also called into action in the second 45 minutes after he pulled off another excellent stop. Bain’s saves kept Celtic in the game at times and allowed the team the platform to push on and win the match. He has done his cause no harm for a regular place in the side after today’s performance.

Aidan Macdonald

Defensive stability

 There was a lot of chatter about who would start this game, particularly in the centre of defence. Would Nat Phillips get some minutes ahead of Wednesday’s game against Lazio? A surprise start for Tomoki Iwata, perhaps, who appeared in the last two games? However, Brendan Rodgers chose Liam Scales and Gustaf Lagerbielke, who were again paired in an unchanged backline. Similar to how previous manager Ange Postecoglou positioned his defenders, the two imposing figures played a high-line, in turn starting attacks with their passes to the full-backs and midfielders. Ideally, this will not be the first-choice defensive pairing going forward, with Cameron Carter-Vickers back in full training, but it is encouraging to see that Celtic’s alternative options – particularly Scales – are dependable in the absence of the starters. Going forward, it will be interesting to see who will be preferred between the likes of Lagerbielke and the injured Maik Nawrocki when he returns. A special mention to Scales in particular, who has been a rock at the back since his return to the first team. A player who looked to be on his way out after falling down the pecking order, the character he has shown to step in to a winning team and not look out of place has been impressive. His long-term situation will no doubt become clearer in the months ahead when regulars return, but he has done himself no harm thus far. If his Republic of Ireland call-up dream manifests into a reality next month, then it will be well deserved, quite frankly. He has taken his golden opportunity and has done himself proud in the process which will benefit his future career, regardless of where it is situated. The aforementioned Phillips came on in the second half, probably with a view to Wednesday night in terms of getting minutes in his legs.

Ryan McGinlay

Midfield dominance

Celtic’s starting midfield contained three players who have committed their long-term futures to the club. Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate all dominated possession and consistently looked for options going forward. However, the forward players struggled to take advantage of the good work in the middle of the park. On several occasions, Yang Hyun-jun, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi, who all started the game, had the ball played into them in promising positions, but the final bit of quality was lacking. Plenty of energy was shown and the visitors won most of the battles in the centre of the pitch. The pace of the game was dictated by the midfield as usual and  Celtic’s three in the middle equipped themselves well during the fixture by driving things forward till the end.

Aidan Macdonald

Wasteful wingers (mostly)

Celtic’s winger positions are areas that are well-contested, though perhaps the quality that was present last season hasn’t been replicated thus far, albeit due to a number of factors. The loss of Jota clearly took the club by surprise, who did not expect Al-Ittihad and Saudi Arabia to come calling for his signature. This, compounded by the fact that Liel Abada, who is out with an injury for the foreseeable future, means that there has been a slight regression in Celtic’s wide play this campaign. Daizen Maeda tirelessly works hard for the team, but when the manager himself admits that his best position is up-front, then that displays the current In today’s game, Yang was preferred to start this game, but only lasted 45 minutes before being taken off at half time for James Forrest. The South Korea cap endeavoured and made himself available for the time he was on the park, but absolutely nothing came off for the former Gangwon FC man. As mentioned before, Forrest entered the fray after the break, offering a different kind of wing-play to proceedings. Still mentally sharp, it was clear at Fir Park this afternoon that the physically dynamic and pacey Forrest of Rodgers’ first tenure is not present, thanks to a build-up of injuries and age catching up with him. Palma came on late to try and make a difference, and he certainly did…

Ryan McGinlay

Late but great impact

 What. An. Impact. Palma – Celtic’s summer signing from Aris FC was a second-half substitute, coming on for Maeda late on in the game. Celtic were looking for a player to come on and make the difference and make the difference the Honduran did! Taking Liam Kelly completely by surprise, Palma cut in and drove a low shot into the corner of the net, with the Scotland international having no chance in the Motherwell net. A big-money acquisition, Palma had a job to do, which was to cause mayhem in and around the Motherwell box. He did so, although it was unfortunate that it was not the winner on the day! That’s an issue for another day, as O’Riley stepped up and made yet another telling impact. Big games call for big players, and the Dane celebrated his contract extension with Celtic’s biggest goal of the season so far. What a finish, and what composure Celtic’s number 33 showed in front of goal when the team had looked down and out at 1-1. No one is under any illusions that Matt O’Riley will see out his four extended years at the club, but it's these magic moments that the midfielder possesses that make him absolutely pivotal to Rodgers’ cause. Palma and O’Riley will get all of the accolades today, and so they should. They both took initiative in a chaotic last 10 minutes, and saved Celtic from dropping points on two occasions on the day. They can be delighted with their contributions today!

Ryan McGinlay