sport news Celtic and Rangers have ensured Scotland's flag is flying high in Europe once ...

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A page in the book of Scottish football in Europe looks to have finally been turned after years of disappointment — Scotland's big two are once again a force to be reckoned with.

On Thursday night, Celtic qualified for the Europa League last-32 after a gutsy 2-1 victory against Lazio in , while Rangers pushed themselves within inches of the same feat after defeating Porto 2-0 at Ibrox.

Scotland are now within one rung in the coefficient ranking of securing a second Champions League place for 2021-22 and are finally capable of once again going toe-to-toe with Europe's best.

Celtic's players celebrate their passage to the Europa League last-32 after beating Lazio 2-1

Celtic's players celebrate their passage to the Europa League last-32 after beating Lazio 2-1

There were also joyous scenes at Ibrox as Rangers defeated Porto 2-0 on Thursday night

There were also joyous scenes at Ibrox as Rangers defeated Porto 2-0 on Thursday night

Celtic have gone from being beaten by Gibraltarian minnows Lincoln Red Imps in 2016 to beating Lazio home and away, while Rangers have erased the memory of that bitter experience to Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn. Oh how that name still sends a shudder over Ibrox.

Heady European nights in Scotland are no longer a thing of the past.

Sportsmail columnist Kris Commons believes Thursday night's results are a turning point for Scottish clubs in Europe.

Speaking on the BBC, he said: 'It's huge for both clubs - Lazio and Porto, these are big names.

'So the fact Rangers and Celtic are not only going toe to toe with them, but beating them, is a real statement for Scottish football.'

It was certainly a memorable evening for the thousands of Celtic fans over in Rome

It was certainly a memorable evening for the thousands of Celtic fans over in  

The players salute their travelling fans at the Stadio Olimpico following a last-gasp victory

The players salute their travelling fans at the Stadio Olimpico following a last-gasp victory

Celtic fans let off smoke flares during their 2-1 win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico

Celtic fans let off smoke flares during their 2-1 win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico 

Celtic are assured of European football post-Christmas following their two wins over Lazio

Celtic are assured of European football post-Christmas following their two wins over Lazio

The former Celtic and Scotland player was also full of praise for managers Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard.

'Neil Lennon was brought in for one thing — to keep the ship going forward; but ultimately to get big results in Europe and he's proven that not only in , but I thought he was very unlucky not to get more than a draw in Rennes as well,' he said.

'The one thing that Steven Gerrard brings is an entourage of people interested in how he is doing.

'The fact he's still going toe to toe with Celtic in the league means it is all pluses for him and can only enhance his reputation.'

While fans celebrated Thursday's successes into the early hours, the journey of

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