By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Celtic needed a late Craig Beattie goal to earn a dramatic 4-4 draw at Motherwell.Celtic needed a late Craig Beattie goal to earn a dramatic 4-4 draw with Motherwell, as the curtain was raised on a new Scottish Premier League season.
A hat-trick from John Hartson helped The Bhoys to a 3-1 half time lead at Fir Park but Terry Butcher's side came back to score three unanswered goals to make it 4-3, before Beattie saved Gordon Strachan's blushes with an injury time leveller.
With the club still reeling from their 5-0 UEFA Champions League drubbing at the hand of Slovakia's Artmedia Bratislava on Wednesday, Hartson gave the Celtic fans some early cheer with a headed goal from Alan Thompson's cross at the far post on 14 minutes.
The Well drew level six minutes later when a fine passing move saw substitute Brian Kerr strike a fine left foot shot past Bhoys goalkeeper David Marshall.
The visitors restored their lead when Hartson neatly headed home Aidan McGeady's cross on 32 minutes before the Welshman increased their advantage from the penalty spot after Motherwell goalkeeper Gordon Marshall had fouled Stilian Petrov in the box.
With Celtic in control, the second half saw the home side get back into match on 58 minutes, as Jim Hamilton headed home Alan McCormack's volleyed cross from the right for 3-2.
They were sensationally level two minutes later, as Scott McDonald head in a fine cross from Steven Hammell for 3-3 before Jim Paterson nearly gave The Well the lead after hitting the post with a low left foot strike moments later.
That match was well poised and Motherwell stunned their Old Firm opponents with six minutes left, as William Kinniburgh headed home Hamilton's cross from the right to make it 4-3.
Celtic looked like they were heading to a second demoralising defeat in less than a week but after a long clearance forward in injury time, substitute Beattie latched onto Hartson's flick and eluded both Hammell and Kinniburgh to beat Marshall and earn a point for The Bhoys.
George Burley's SPL debut as Hearts manager proved a success, as the Edinburgh club ran out 4-2 winners at Kilmarnock.
Steven Naismith gave Jim Jefferies' side the lead on 12 minutes, but The Jambos immediately replied through summer signing Rudolf Skacel.
Another SPL debutant in Czech striker Roman Bednar gave Hearts the lead just after half time before Saulius Mikoliunas made it 3-1 on 61 minutes.
Gordon Greer made the match a contest with a goal on 74 minutes at Rugby Park but Hearts sealed their first three points of the new season with a late Paul Hartley penalty.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle player-manager Craig Brewster played spoiler on Saturday at SPL new boys Falkirk.
Last season's Scottish First Division champions saw the former Dunfermline Athletic striker find the scoresheet twice in the second half at The Falkirk Stadium, as Caley Thistle claimed three points to start their campaign.
Dundee United were held to a 1-1 draw by Aberdeen at Tannadice Park, with summer signing Lee Miller opening the scoring for the Tayside club on seven minutes.
Jimmy Calderwood's side earned a point after Barry Nicholson levelled for The Dons three minutes after half time.
Finally, ten-man Hibernian earned a 1-1 draw with Dunfermline Athletic at Easter Road.
Greg Shields gave The Pars an early lead and things looked bleak for Tony Mowbray's side after Scott Brown was sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes before the break.
Despite being a man short, Garry O'Connor earned a point for Hibs with a strike on 74 minutes.
Click here for the SPL table.