Last season’s UEFA Europa League opponents Copenhagen have strolled into the quarter-finals of the competition tonight after a 3-0 home victory over Istanbul Basaksehir.

Goals from Jonas Wind and Rasmus Falk have overturned a 1-0 defeat in the first leg to send them on their way to the last eight.

Should it have been Celtic?

When we were drawn against the Danish outfit following an exciting and uplifting group stage campaign featuring Lazio, Rennes and Cluj, there was real optimism we could make progress in the tournament.

The Scottish champions had won a strong group, with Copenhagen finishing second in theirs behind Malmo.

Indeed, even after the first leg in the Round of 32 tie you would have fancied Neil Lennon’s side to finish the job off at Celtic Park after a 1-1 away draw.

As we know, that night was a disastrous performance and Stale Solbakken’s side would show us up with a 3-1 victory in front of an angry and anxious home support.

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The Europa League should be a prime hunting ground for Celtic success and Copenhagen’s result tonight is further proof of that.

 

Even Rangers, who have consistently finished far behind us in the Scottish Premiership in recent years, made it through to the last 16 of the competition.

In a season dominated by the ‘ten-in-a-row’ narrative, we should not forget that European progress should be high on the agenda too.

Only the most optimistic of Celtic fans would expect us to be reaching the latter stages of the Champions League.

The Celtic players celebrate in Copenhagen

The Celtic players celebrate in Copenhagen / (Photo by LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

However, if we end up in the secondary competition either through a failure in qualifying or a third-placed finish in the most lucrative group stages, we should really back ourselves to be a force.

A popular misconception is that Celtic have it tough in terms of qualifiers and in Europe, an underdog fighting against the system.

While our status is from ideal, it’s easy to forget we are always one of the top seeds in that initial qualifying process and have a turnover that is the envy of many clubs who do well in continental action.

Neil Lennon has a young, talented team at his disposal and, hopefully, they can live up to their promise on all fronts across the current campaign.

In other news, Kris Commons has highlighted the lack of squad depth at Rangers in comparison to Celtic.

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