James Forrest scored AIK's resistance for a fifth consecutive game to break

Celtic ends a turbulent nine-day spell by taking a significant step towards the Europa League group stages after beating AIK 2-0 in Glasgow.

CFR Cluj and an underwhelming League Cup win, but second-half goals by James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard eased them to victory.

Celtic suffered a frustrating first 45 minutes in this play-off round first leg, but pulled clear and will take a healthy lead to Sweden next Thursday.

In fact, the Scottish champions have made the trip to Stockholm more comfortable, but finally had to settle for 2-0 victory.

Grand old man remains big presence

Mikey Johnston, Edouard and Callum McGregor had all gone to Oscar Linner save away from opening the scoring.

AIK had soaked up Celtic's pressure for 47 minutes when he capitalized on slipping to the heart of the visitors' defense before rifling a shot on goal.

It's Forrest's fifth goal in five games and reminder that Ryan Christie, Johnston and Edouard represent the bright young things of the Celtic attack. In this week's Cluj, he scored the equalizer at Celtic Park Celtic on their way and scored the winner against Dunfermline in the Hairy League Cup tie at the weekend.

If his last European goal did not prove the catalyst for victory, then this one did. With AIK now having to come out of their shell there is more space and more opportunity. When Johnston won a free-kick with 16 minutes to go, Edouard took responsibility and curated a beauty over the AIK wall and beyond Linner.

One goal and they were still vulnerable in Stockholm next week. Two goals and the job is a whole lot easier, the cushion more comfortable.

It should have been three late on. Linner's left-hand post: Olivier Ntcham, Edouard and Lewis Morgan all thumped efforts on AIK's goal and all were beaten away.

It should not matter. Celtic still have a job to do, but they've helped the job already done. When they hit the road for Stockholm they'll have new loan signing Fraser Forster with them. The goalkeeper, who in the mind's eye of every Celtic fan is still summons up glorious memories of Lionel Messi on happier European nights, what reintroduced to the crowd at half-time.

Those heroics are now beyond Celtic, but at least the consolation of the Europa League group stage is very much in their grasp now.

Man of the match – Odsonne Edouard

Edouard has been pin-sharp this season and this classy performance, full of subtle touches, intelligent running, physicality and vision. And, of course, a goal. A peach.

He led the line wonderfully and deservedly his chance to free-kick. And how he is executed. Leigh Griffiths would have applauded. A free-kick wizard of another vintage, Shunsuke Nakamura, would have done the same.