Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Premier League improving as a whole has contributed to an open start to the campaign, citing the weekend's results as a prime example of a wide-open title race.
Just six points separate the top eight teams heading into the international break, with Wenger declaring that dropped points from all the big sides will keep things interesting from now until May.
He told the club's official website: "Six points is not too bad [for the top eight] after 11 games. What we have learnt again today is that not only that Man United could beat Arsenal but everybody can beat everybody in this Premier League.
"Sunderland beat Man City and that shows you how much excitement you will have until the end of the season. I don't know [about quality] because you have for example a team like Southampton, who is close to the top but they have three international players in the England squad.
"That means maybe the whole Premier League has gone up. I don't think necessarily players like Robin Van Persie are not as good as last season or two seasons ago. It's just the whole quality has gone up."
Wenger's men have won eight of their first 11 matches this season, recovering from an opening-day defeat against Aston Villa to lead the league in November.