THE Betfred Cup had provided a shock treble that would have burst the bank with the sponsors if you had backed it. Any money on Rangers was always safe here.

Hearts, Aberdeen and Celtic all fell over the weekend, but Rangers never looked like becoming the fourth big name exit from the competition. You won’t get rich backing the Gers this term, but the form books certainly don’t lie at present as they continue their relentless march through the campaign.

This unbeaten run will come to an end at some point, but it was never going to happen here. Falkirk gave it more of a go than many expected - and looked brighter than many Premiership sides have done this season - but Rangers comfortably dispatched of their League One hosts.

There is a ruthless efficiency about the way in which Rangers are operating this term and this victory can now be added to the list as they entered their third competition of the campaign and took the first step on the road to Hampden.

With their Old Firm rivals and Aberdeen now out of the League Cup, the expectation levels will rise once again at Ibrox. After two seasons of being so near yet so far, this is now a real opportunity for Steven Gerrard to collect his first silverware as manager.

There will be more difficult challenges to be overcome in the times that follow but Rangers can now go into another week of Europa League and Premiership action with a sense of satisfaction after an evening of several positives and a deserved cup win.

From the moment that Jermain Defoe opened the scoring after six minutes, it was a case of how many for Rangers. In the end, they would settle for four as a place in the next round was secured with the minimum of fuss.

Defoe’s opener was added to by Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic before the interval. After it, James Tavernier netted his 14th goal of the remarkable campaign.

This was another job done for Steven Gerrard’s side. And it was well done, too, as a reshuffled line-up eased to victory at the Falkirk Stadium.

The finish from Defoe was typically classy. A long ball from Connor Goldson evaded Mark Durnan and Defoe would aim a low effort across keeper Peter Morrison into the far corner.

The response from Falkirk was encouraging but it was always going to be a tall order from there. A header from Durnan that was well saved by Jon McLaughlin was as close as they would come to scoring before the break.

Either side of that chance, Rangers had netted the goals that won the game. Gerrard’s side weren’t at their fluent best at times, but they didn’t have to be.

It was Bassey that doubled the lead as he reacted alertly to a smart save from Morrison as he blocked a Cedric Itten header. From close range, the defender finished well to open his account for Rangers.

Bassey had been given a chance to operate at centre-back rather than left-back here as Barisic retained his starting spot. Just before the break, the Croatian produced a wonderful free-kick that curled over the wall and into the top corner as Morrison was left stranded.

That was that as far as the outcome was concerned but there was no let up from Rangers and they would add to their tally within five minutes of the restart.

The finish was once again straight out of the top drawer as Tavernier converted with precision and power into the far corner after a Barisic cross found his fellow full-back.

The remainder of the half was a case of game management for Gerrard’s side, although Falkirk continued to play their game and deserve credit for doing so.

This wasn’t a night where they were going to cause the shock of the round but there was enough to admire about the Bairns to suggest they can challenge for promotion to the Championship this term.

The handful of changes that Gerrard rightly made interrupted the flow of the game but the switches were worthwhile from personal perspectives. Glenn Middleton and Greg Stewart were given rare appearances, while youngsters Ciaran Dickson and Leon King were handed their debuts for Rangers.

It is those two that supporters will be eager to see more of when the time is right. Given what is at stake this season, the chance to give Academy kids a run-out is unlikely to come that regularly but both did their hopes of further action no harm at all as they settled into what was now approaching a make-shift Rangers line-up.

It was comfortable and controlled for Gerrard’s side. The chances hadn’t come with regularity in the second half, but they didn’t have to on a night where the outcome had been obvious for some time.

If Rangers can maintain this form, it is not just the Betfred Cup that they will become overwhelming favourites for this season. For the first time in a long time, Rangers look a safe bet for some silverware.