Virgil van Dijk says Manchester City are not going to win every game 5-0. Photo: Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has said the club cannot afford to worry about the form of champions Manchester City while they continue their own bid to win the Premier League title.

City head into the international break two points clear of second-placed Liverpool after a 3-1 derby win at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

Liverpool were briefly top themselves following a 2-0 victory over Fulham on Sunday.

But they will need other sides to take points off City if they are to be crowned champions of England for the first time in the Premier League era – a remarkable statistic given the Merseysiders, who were the dominant force in English football in the 1970s and 1980s, won the old First Division title 18 times.

As for City, Netherlands captain Van Dijk said: “They are the champions and the best team in the league, but we will try everything to be as good as we can.

“We shouldn’t look at others, we want to look at the games we have.

“And the next challenge we have at Liverpool is Watford away, which is going to be tough.”

He added: “The season is very long. They (City) are not going to win every game 5-0, and are going to have tough games like everyone else.

“We need to look at what we have ahead of us, and that is more important than looking at someone else. It is the only way forward.”