Stoppage Time: Can Liverpool win the title?

Liverpool used to be "the" club in England.

They have won 18 first-division titles, five European Cups, seven FA Cups and eight League Cup titles. They last won a trophy after capturing the 2012 League Cup, but have been usurped by Manchester United in recent years.

United have won 20 titles, including five in the last 10 seasons, while Liverpool have not claimed a league title since the 1989-90 season.

But Liverpool have been on the uptick since manager Brendan Rodgers took the reins prior to last season.

Rodgers' first season on Merseyside wasn't great -- the club finished seventh, behind United as well as local rival Everton. This season, however, Rodgers is leading Liverpool's resurgence.

Entering this season, the Reds' goal was to finish in the top four of the table and gain a spot in the UEFA Champions League, which carries hefty financial rewards.

To that end, the Reds got off to fantastic start, earning three straight 1-0 wins, including one over a transitioning Manchester United side which features David Moyes on the touchline.

After those first three wins, the team struggled to display the kind of defensive structure and overall consistency needed to win the title. They have been outstanding at home, but less than stellar on their travels.

But Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of then-leader Arsenal at Anfield opened the eyes of the world football community.

In their first meeting of the season, Liverpool generated few scoring chances as they fell to the Gunners, 2-0, at Emirates Stadium.

Saturday was an entirely different kettle of fish.

The home side was ahead inside of two minutes when a perfectly delivered free kick from Steven Gerrard landed at the feet of defender Martin Skrtel, who knocked it home. It was 2-0 for Liverpool before the 10-minute mark when Skrtel got his head on a Gerrard corner kick and directed it into the top left corner.

Just a few minutes later, Jordan Henderson stripped the ball away from Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and set sail down the right flank before pushing it further wide for Luis Suarez, who sent it across the face of the goal for Raheem Sterling to tap home.

In the 19th minute, it was 4-0 for Liverpool after Daniel Sturridge ran onto a perfect through ball from Philippe Coutinho and slotted it home with his preferred left foot, completing the club's most dominant 20-minute stretch of the season.

Sterling netted his second of the day early in the second half and Arsenal pulled back a consolation goal through a Mikel Arteta penalty kick, but the result was already in the bag for the Reds.

Liverpool has had several outstanding results on home soil this season, including a 4-0 win over Fulham, 4-1 against West Bromwich Albion, 4-0 over Everton on Jan 28 and a 5-1 thrashing of Norwich City which featured a hat trick from Suarez.

But Saturday's absolute destruction of a talented Arsenal side was on a different level, and Rodgers had nothing but praise for his side.

"Young Philippe has always had that appetite for the ball and he's a wonderful technician," Rodgers said. "He's added to his game the ability to press the ball, intercept, block and his hunger to do that side of the game is now key for us.

"Jordan Henderson is a player who is improving all the time. Those three in the midfield, with Steven controlling from behind and getting on the ball, playmaking from that role, sets us up perfectly.

"Daniel Sturridge playing in that penetration role was superb. Luis Suarez was selfless today. We changed it about and switched the front three around and put Daniel through the middle to penetrate with speed."

So with Sturridge, Suraez, Coutinho and Sterling leading a potent attack, can Liverpool claim a 19th league title this season?

Liverpool currently sits six points behind league leaders Chelsea with 13 games to play. But they have yet to play the Blues, as well as Manchester City at Anfield, where they have lost just once this season.

The Reds suffered narrow losses to both City and Chelsea on the road over the holiday period, but if they can keep their home form up and win both of those games later this season, they will certainly be in the title race come May.

Rodgers still needs to teach his side how to win close matches and grind out results, and he needs to settle on a preferred back four and stick with it once everyone is healthy.

But if the Northern Irishman can get his young squad to win those nervy one- goal contests as the teams come down the stretch, it's certainly possible the Premier League trophy could make its long-awaited return to Anfield.