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Distribution of Goal Distances and Targets

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Every once in a while, you'll see a ridiculous goal, for example, Spurs keeper Paul Robinson scoring from 80 yards out or Xabier Alonso fooling the goalie from 60. But such achievements are few and far between. Using data from the last four seasons in the English Premier League, I assembled this distribution of goal distances:

Goal_dist_medium

Roughly 84% of all goals were scored from 18 yards out or closer - just 1.8% were scored from beyond 30 yards, and only 3 goals were scored from a team's own end.

Another interesting question is where shots go into the goal. As you can see, most goals are scored along the ground or close to the posts:

Goal_loc_medium

Indeed, 53% of goals are scored within two feet of the ground. Of course, none of this is even remotely surprising...