IS Odsonne Edouard one of the best young strikers in Europe right now? To borrow a phrase from our Danish hosts, probably.

He became the first Celtic player to score an away goal in European knockout football since Henrik Larsson scored against Boavista in 2003 by netting the opener here in Copenhagen last night, and while he isn’t yet in the class of the Swede, the 22-year-old seems to be on his way.

Alas, the fate of Celtic in this first leg tie was told in the tale of two Frenchmen, with the advantage provided by the excellence of Edouard negated by the sloppiness of his compatriot, Olivier Ntcham.

Still, it could have been worse. Celtic might have somehow lost a game they should have had out of sight by half-time as VAR made its impact on the first competitive match that a Scottish club had taken part in using the technology.

No wonder Scottish clubs don’t seem overly keen on the idea of it being introduced in the Premiership. A penalty was awarded against Celtic for a Ryan Christie handball – correctly, in fairness – but Fraser Forster’s outstanding save meant that the equaliser by Dame N’Doye was the only damage done to the Scottish champions hopes of progression to the last 16.

Jeremie Frimpong made his return on the right of the defence in what was his first taste of European action, while Jonny Hayes replaced the injured Greg Taylor on the opposite side as Neil Lennon reverted to a 4-2-3-1 system. Christie came in for Leigh Griffiths playing off the left.

This might not be Europe’s premier competition, but the atmosphere inside the Telia Parken was electric, the 34,000 or so inside its steep stands thronging with noise and colour. It felt like a big European evening, and Celtic responded to the challenge immediately.

A long ball from Jonny Hayes was misjudged by Ragnar Sigurdsson, allowing Christie to play Edouard in behind the home defence within 30 seconds. Goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson – who denied Celtic on several occasions throughout the evening - came out on top of the one-on-one, before a sliding block from Victor Nelsson denied the striker’s rebound.

Remarkably, Edouard was in again a couple of minutes later, James Forrest slipping him in behind but playing the ball just a little too close to Johnsson, who blocked at his feet. The ball squirmed out to Ntcham, whose net-bound effort was scrambled clear by Sigurdsson.

The game was so open in these early exchanges, and Celtic had a warning of their own as Kris Ajer was robbed by N’Doye, but his pace got him back goal-side to make a sliding challenge.

Perhaps word of Edouard’s prowess in front of goal hadn’t reached the Danish capital, because the space they were affording the striker was bordering on the criminal. The hosts wouldn’t get a further reprieve.

Christopher Jullien picked out Christie wide on the right in acres of space, with the attacker working the ball inside to Callum McGregor who in turn picked out Edouard all on his own to his left.

This time, he drew the keeper and produced an exquisite dink over him into the opposite corner, sending a couple of thousand plastic pints of lager flying into the air at the opposite end of the ground.

Celtic continued to dominate, but failed to add to their lead by the break, and Copenhagen came out after the interval with renewed vigour. Ajer had to make a smart intervention to cut out a low Oviedo cross, but they didn’t look to have the quality to really open Celtic up until Ntcham did the hard work for them.

The midfielder, whose night had been hallmarked by moments of slackness throughout, dallied on the edge of his own area, lost the ball to Rasmu Falk, and within a second or two it was dispatched into Forster’s net via the post by N’Doye.

Suddenly, Ntcham couldn’t do anything right, but Celtic still should have retaken the lead when McGregor and Edouard broke in a two versus one, but the midfielder opted to shoot rather than slip his teammate in and his effort sailed way over the crossbar.

The flow of the game was now more like the NBA than the Europa League, and it was no surprise to see Ntcham given the hook for Mohamed Elyounoussi as Lennon attempted to exert a measure of control over proceedings once again.

There was a blow for Celtic as captain Scott Brown hobbled off to be replaced by Nir Bitton, and then VAR made its way onto the stage for the first time with 12 minutes remaining.

A floated corner into the area was headed down and off of Christie, with the Copenhagen Ultras behind the goal going potty having spotted the use of an arm. Referee Sergei Karasev didn’t, but unfortunately for Celtic, the cameras did, and the official awarded the spot kick after consulting the pitch-side monitor. The subsequent booking puts Christie out of the second leg.

Jens Stage stepped up, but Forster somehow got himself down to his low effort to tip onto the inside of the post, and it rebounded clear.

Would Celtic be happy in the end then to settle for an away goal and a draw before the return at Celtic Park? Well, probably.