Nat Phillips caught in crazy scenes as fans celebrate on pitch – before losing!

Saturday marked a return to action for Nat Phillips after injury, with the Liverpool loanee involved in a crazy finale as Celtic beat Motherwell.

Phillips joined Celtic on a short-term loan at the end of the transfer window, but picked up an ankle issue on his debut for the club.

That saw him miss two games including a 2-0 loss to Feyenoord in the Champions League, before returning to the bench for Saturday’s trip to Motherwell.

Just after the hour mark, Brendan Rodgers turned to Phillips as replacement for Gustaf Lagerbielke, reintegrating the 26-year-old ahead of a regular starting berth.

It had been a largely uneventful game until late on, when Luis Palma looked to have given Celtic a 1-0 victory with his goal in the 87th minute.

But there was time for late drama as Motherwell equalised through Blair Spittal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

His goal sent the home fans into raptures, with sections of the support flooding onto the pitch to celebrate what they believed was an emphatic leveller.

Unfortunately, not long after they had returned to the stands were those supporters left furious, as Celtic again went ahead through Matt O’Riley.

Phillips played a part in the winning goal, picking up the ball and turning it out wide to Greg Taylor, whose cross was volleyed home by O’Riley for 2-1.

O’Riley and his team-mates ran towards the corner flag in celebration, with Celtic fans returning the favour by making their way onto the pitch to join them.

It was a remarkable period that earned Celtic their sixth win in seven unbeaten games to stay top of the Scottish Premiership.

“A fantastic victory for the players. I said to them afterwards, this club’s history is built on going right to the very end and scoring late goals,” Rodgers told BBC Sport.

The manager added: “A dramatic way to win. I was here a number of years back when we won 4-3 and didn’t think we’d get as close like that again in a game.

“It was definitely that. A really good day for us.”

Nat Phillips Celtic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Phillips is now in his fifth season as a senior professional, and it had been expected that he would depart Liverpool on a permanent basis in the summer.

Instead, with a shortage of offers, an initial agreement was struck with Celtic to send him on loan to Glasgow until January, when his situation will be assessed.

It is unclear whether his stay would then be extended or a buyer be sought, but the hope at least will be that he can play regular minutes between now and then.