As Rangers romped to a 4-0 victory over Falkirk in the Betfred Cup, the club’s comfortable passage to the tournament’s Quarter Finals was almost a side story in the Scottish press.

Celtic’s awful 2-0 defeat to Ross County saw a run of 35 cup games on the bounce finally come to an end with the violent reaction by their fans outside the ground leaving even bluenoses aghast.

Falkirk v Rangers - Betfred Cup

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard must now go on and lift his first trophy as Ibrox manager with the club desperate for success. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic are in turmoil and their exit from this competition – in which they beat us in the final last season – opens up a clear passageway for us to finally go and get that trophy monkey off our back.

Rangers have been beaten in both of their two cup finals since the events of 2012, the fact we’ve only made two Hampden finals in eight years an outstandingly poor record in of itself.

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Against Hibs in 2016, Rangers had defeated Celtic in the semi but ran out of steam against a team with which we had a fierce Championship rivalry that season.

Against Celtic in late 2019, we felt this was to be our time and our chance to finally put an end to their dominance – and we played like it too.

But a wasteful Rangers were blocked out by a relentless Fraser Forster as Celtic’s offside Chris Julien goal proved to be the only effort which hit the net in a 1-0 defeat.

We even infamously missed a penalty whilst Celtic played much of the second half with 10 men.

At the end of that game, there were tears aplenty and there was a feeling that this disappointment – despite going on to pip Celtic at Parkhead – halted our charge last season.

Rangers boss Gerrard consoles Ryan Jack after the Ibrox club stumbled at the final hurdle of the Betfred Cup last season. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Had we lifted the trophy that day it could’ve acted as a catalyst to go on and lift that league title but instead the mentality was questioned as we wondered if our rivals would ever be halted.

But up step Ross County, who’re the first team to knock Celtic out a cup in five seasons and who now present a pathway for Rangers to finally set the tone for a campaign which is promising so much.

If Rangers can get past St. Mirren in Paisley, they will know they face two Hampden ties where they can lift the trophy without facing Celtic, Aberdeen or even Hearts.

Winning trophies is not easy – as the last few years have proven – but for the last decade, Rangers have not been presented with a better opportunity to finally end the barren run.

Falkirk v Rangers - Betfred Cup

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has a clear pathway to lifing the trophy and ending Rangers’ Hampden hoodoo. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There can be no excuses – Rangers must now go on and win this landmark piece of silverware and set the tone for the rest of this season.

For one ex-Celtic star, this could well be the first of a historic treble as we look to halt our Old Firm rivals.

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