Celtic travel to Fir Park to face Motherwell after being knocked off their lofty perch at the top of the Scottish Premiership table for the first time by Rangers since 2022.

In the second of his TCW archive series, Tony Haggerty has raided the vault and came up with a classic match featuring the two sides.  

It is a memorable contest that Brendan Rodgers might want to show his current group of players to give them some inspiration for the weekend trip to Lanarkshire...

Once again we are stepping back in time to a more recent outing when Celtic left it late to see off the men in claret and amber. So strap yourself in for this humdinger of a match as both teams play out a seven-goal thriller from December 2016. There was no talk of the Invincibles, but Rodgers's side showed that they had the minerals to come from behind twice in this pulsating Premiership encounter.

Motherwell had raced into a two-goal lead before the break courtesy of a brace from predatory attacker Louis Moult. Few could have predicted the drama that was to unfold after the interval as Celtic laid siege to their opponents' goal.

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Interestingly enough Rogers has faced Motherwell five times at Fir Park during both his tenures as manager of Celtic. He has won twice and on both occasions he has had to rely on last-minute goals to win the contest. It was the twinkle toes of the Wizard of Oz Tom Rogic who settled the issue with an injury-time strike of stunning quality as Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table to eight points over Rangers with three games in hand.

In an astonishing contest, Louis Moult had given the hosts the lead in this one with an exquisite superb first-time lob over Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon - who had strayed too far off his line - in just three minutes after he had eluded his marker, Kolo Toure. It was a sumptuous finish from a player who was bang in form. It was the first goal the champions had conceded in 10 hours of football. It stayed that way until Moult doubled Motherwell's advantage with a close-range half-volley after 34 minutes when he Moult took advantage of more slack Toure defending to bang in his second of the game and his 10th counter of the season.

Celtic looked dead and buried by that point but an inspirational half-time chat from Rodgers and structural change to a back three did the trick as the Northern Irishman's charges came racing out of the blocks at the resumption. A Callum McGregor low strike after an excellent 1-2 with the superb Stuart Armstrong halved the arrears and brought Celtic back into contention after 48 minutes.

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It was all square 22 minutes later when Armstrong crossed from the left and there was Patrick Roberts to buty a header at the back post to make it 2-2. Just as the Celtic supporters had finished celebrating Motherwell incredibly went in front again on 71 minutes. Lionel Ainsworth stabbed a volley into the net after Steven Hammell's cross from the left had found the green and white defence all at sea to make the score 3-2 to the Lanarkshire men.

Sixty seconds later, the spectators were treated to the third goal in as many minutes when Armstrong's low shot on the turn following Roberts's pass arrowed its way past Motherwell No. 1 Craig Samson. It all looked to be heading for a stalemate when Rogic stepped forward and produced a moment of magic. The Aussie midfielder picked his spot before drilling a beauty with his right foot past Samson to win an amazing and enthralling game of football.

Celtic manager Rodgers said: "We were poor in the first half. We got off to an awful start. We changed the system at half-time to 3-4-3. We were brilliant in the second half. To score the four goals, to win the game, it shows the mentality of the team.

"Across the team, I have to give them huge credit because we had to put risk in the game. They took on the risk and they got the reward. I'm delighted for them. That was a great, great victory for us and give credit to Motherwell as well because I thought that they were set up very, very well."

Scottish Premiership

December 3, 2016

Motherwell 3 (Moult 3, 34, Ainsworth 71)

Celtic 4 (McGregor 48, Roberts 70, Armstrong 72, Rogic 90)

Attendance: 8,535


Motherwell Samson, Tait (Bowman 90), Hammell, Heneghan, McManus, Moult, Cadden (Ainsworth 68), Lasley, Clay, MacLean (McMillan 72), McDonald

Celtic: Gordon, Toure, Izaguirre (McGregor 29), Simunovic, Brown, Dembele, Armstrong, Rogic, Lustig, Roberts (Bitton 90), Forrest (Gamboa 90)