CELTIC step onto the European tightrope again in Sweden on Thursday.

Second-half goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard, with a spectacular 25-yard free-kick that flummoxed keeper Oscar Limmer, handed the team a safety net in the second leg of their Europa League play-off against AIK Stockholm.

The prize of a place in the group stages awaits the victors and, as Neil Lennon has already stressed, the tie is far from over.

There is much work to be done to keep the Swedish champions at bay, but, at least, the Hoops defenders can point to the fact they had a clean sheet at Parkhead following the loss of goals in successive games against Cluj, home and away, Motherwell and Dunfermline – an unsatisfactory eight in total.

If Jozo Simunovic and Christopher Jullien can dovetail again in the centre of the rearguard and Edouard and Forrest, with 10 strikes between them, can conjure up some menace at the other end, then there is real reason for optimism.

The job is only half-done, but the eight-in-a-row Scottish title kings are heading in the right direction.

CQN‘S ace snappers were at the game to capture the action. Here is the pick of the pics.

THE RACE IS ON…Boli Boligoli shows his pace.

THUMP…Ryan Christie fires in a left-foot drive.

ONEUPMANSHIP…Ryan Christie and the Hungarian referee communicate.

POISE AND POWER…Odsonne Edouard displays his technique.

NUMBER ONE…James Forrest looks on anxiously as keeper Oscar Limmer comes close to denying him the opening goal.

THAT’S MY BHOY…Scott Brown congratulates on-fire Forrest as Jozo Simunovic and Christopher Jullien head back to defence.

JINKING JOHNSTON…Hoops wizard Mikey Johnston shows his tricks to an AIK defender and the referee.

HIGH AND MIGHTY…Christopher Jullien rises to put on the pressure with Jozo Simunovic looking on.

NUMBER TWO…Odsonne Edouard is engulfed by a joyous Boli Bolingoli and Christopher Jullien after his wonder free-kick.

IN CONTROL…Callum McGregor looks for an opening.

WATER BREAK…Kristoffer Ajer has words with Hoops No.2 John Kennedy during a lull in play.

CHEERS AND CHEERIO…Mikey Johnston leaves the field after an exhilarating performance.

BOWLED OVER…a Swedish defender heads for the turf as Olivier Ntcham surges forward.

EURO STARS…Kristoffer Ajer and skipper Scott Brown lead the applause to the Parkhead fans after the 2-0 triumph.


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