Match ends, Motherwell 2, Hibernian 3.
Hibernian fans played a "massive part" in their team's thrilling comeback victory at Motherwell, says head coach Jack Ross.
Martin Boyle's penalty gave Hibs a winning Premiership start at raucous Fir Park as supporters returned to Scottish stadia on opening weekend.
Kyle Magennis and substitute Christian Doidge equalised after Motherwell twice led through Kevin van Veen and Bevis Mugabi headers.
"I enjoyed fans being back," said Ross.
"There was definitely a different intensity to the fixture.
"Especially when we were shooting towards our own fans in the second half, it helped us without a shadow of a doubt. They played a massive part in that game."
It was Hibs' fifth successive opening-day top-flight win, while Motherwell last started with three points in 2016.
The visitors were missing highly-rated left-back Josh Doig, with the 19-year-old on the brink of a move.
Hibs didn't concede a headed goal in last season's Premiership campaign as they finished third behind the Old Firm. Yet they lost two in 17 minutes here as defensive frailty threatened to negate their attacking verve.
Motherwell jolted the visitors to life when the unmarked Van Veen sent a downward header past Matt Macey. The defending was poor, but the whipped left-wing cross from Jake Carroll was terrific.
Hibs responded swiftly and Jamie Murphy's scuffed shot from a Paul McGinn cutback fell perfectly via a deflection for Magennis to poke into the net.
The pace of the game was unrelenting and Hibs were the more cohesive attacking unit. Paul Hanlon sent a header narrowly too high, then Murphy broke clear to blaze a chip over with goalkeeper Liam Kelly well off his line.
However, it was Motherwell who regained the initiative, with Carroll again the architect. His floated free-kick found Mugabi to head in at the near post, with both Hibs midfielder Alex Gogic and goalkeeper Macey culpable.
Magennis had a strong penalty shout turned down after being barged by Carroll, who enjoyed another stroke of fortune when he grabbed Boyle by the shirt but avoided a second yellow.
Kelly showed why Motherwell were so keen to sign him permanently, producing a stunning fingertip save to deny Murphy as the frantic pace continued after the interval.
Motherwell almost caught Hibs on the counter-attack when Van Veen released fellow striker Kaiyne Woolery, but Macey made a key save.
Hibs' tactical switch, sacrificing holding midfielder Gogic for striker Doidge and going 4-4-2, quickly paid dividends when the Welsh striker slid to to convert the rebound after Kevin Nisbet struck a post.
Nisbet was again pivotal as Hibs finally led for the first time. The striker's shot struck the outstretched hand of Stephen O'Donnell, and Boyle tucked the penalty into the left-hand corner.
Motherwell's Barry Maguire could have provided a final twist in a breathless contest, but fired too high deep into injury time and Hibs could finally relax.
Man of the match - Kevin Nisbet
What did we learn?
This pulsating contest will take some beating for entertainment value. Hibs threw caution to the wind and look primed to build on last season's third-place finish, providing Doig's departure isn't followed by the loss of other prize assets.
Motherwell's spirited showing also offers positives, particularly the scoring league debut of Van Veen. The Dutch striker provides a focal point in attack and is nifty with the ball at feet too, with a slaloming second-half run lapped up by the home support.
What did they say?
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "I'd like us to have done some things better, from a defensive point of view, but I thought my team were excellent.
"We offered lots of attacking threat and really committed to the game. Kevin van Veen was exceptional."
Hibs head coach Jack Ross: "Even though we were behind at half-time, I was really pleased with what we produced, although we didn't defend our box well enough on two occasions.
"Overall, for us to produce that kind of performance after being involved in Europe on Thursday was brilliant."
Hibs are in Europa Conference League qualifying first-leg action at home to Rijeka on Thursday (19:45 BST), while Motherwell are away to St Johnstone in the Premiership next Sunday (15:00).
- 1KellyBooked at 70mins
- 2O'DonnellBooked at 69mins
- 3CarrollBooked at 22mins
- 16SlatteryBooked at 31minsSubstituted forAmaluzorat 74'minutes
- 7WoolerySubstituted forLawlessat 84'minutes
- 9van VeenBooked at 55mins
- 5PorteousBooked at 76mins
- 4HanlonBooked at 48mins
- 16StevensonBooked at 59mins
- 13GogicSubstituted forDoidgeat 54'minutes
- 7MagennisSubstituted forCampbellat 84'minutes
- 18MurphySubstituted forDoyle-Hayesat 65'minutes
- David Munro
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Hibernian 3.
Attempt missed. Barry Maguire (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steven Lawless.
Foul by Joe Newell (Hibernian).
Stephen O'Donnell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stephen O'Donnell.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jake Carroll.
Attempt blocked. Josh Campbell (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Doidge.
Ryan Porteous (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Kevin van Veen (Motherwell).
Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ricki Lamie (Motherwell).
Attempt missed. Ryan Porteous (Hibernian) header from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Josh Campbell with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Barry Maguire.
Substitution, Hibernian. Josh Campbell replaces Kyle Magennis.
Substitution, Motherwell. Steven Lawless replaces Kaiyne Woolery.
Attempt saved. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jake Carroll.
Ryan Porteous (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ryan Porteous (Hibernian).
Tony Watt (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
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