With far more goals from outside the box than any other Premier League side this season, Manchester City are underlining their credentials as possible title winners.

Or are they?

The Citizens have scored from outside the penalty area 11 times this season, compared to Arsenal’s two efforts from distance (Alexis Sánchez against Leicester City and Theo Walcott against Manchester City).

It may help over the course of a season, especially when the occasional effort rifles into the back of the net, but in the long term Arsenal are right not to pull the trigger from way out. The Gunners’ two goals from outside the box have come from 55 shots, the second lowest in the top flight in England. City, however, have taken 100 shots from outside the area. Liverpool have taken an amazing 104 shots from distance, scoring just five.

A similar number of shots, yet one side has scored more than double the amount of goals from outside the box. Skill is one thing, but it seems pretty obvious that luck – ranging from catching the ball sweetly to a goalkeeping rick or a deflection – must play a role.

Arsenal clearly aren’t shooting as accurately as their rivals from distance and, when variance comes into play, the results would even out over time. By taking fewer shots from range, Arsène Wenger’s side look to move the ball into more dangerous areas to have a greater chance of actually finding the back of the net.

Obviously there is talent in shooting from range – it’s no coincidence that Sergio Agüero has more long range goals than any other player – but it’s also a case of decision making. Philippe Coutinho’s shoot on sight policy has given him two goals from long distance this season from 32 shots outside the box. Clearly this isn’t the sort of conversion rate you’d expect from an attacking midfielder.

Arsenal aren’t scoring as many goals from long range as their opponents, but that is what makes the Gunners more dangerous. Next time you hear the crowd at the Emirates shout ‘shoooot’ as the ball bounces in front of Héctor Bellerín 30 yards from goal, have a think about it.

Not shooting in those situations and attempting to work the ball into the box as often as possible is what makes Arsenal so dangerous.