Championship - Play-offs - 1st Leg
BarnsleyBarnsley0SwanseaSwansea City1

Championship play-offs: Barnsley 0-1 Swansea City

By Ian WoodcockBBC Sport at Oakwell
Andre Ayew
Swansea forward Andre Ayew has now scored 19 goals this season

Swansea will take a narrow advantage back to south Wales for the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final with Barnsley thanks to Andre Ayew's fine individual goal.

Ayew gave the visitors the lead before the break when he cut inside from the right and curled an unstoppable left-footed effort past home goalkeeper Bradley Collins.

Roared on vociferously by 4,000 home fans, the Tykes made a great start to the second half but could not find the breakthrough they needed as Swans goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made a smart low save from substitute Carlton Morris and denied Callum Brittain on the rebound.

Morris nearly grabbed an injury-time equaliser but saw his flick from Cauley Woodrow's corner come back off the crossbar.

The pair meet again at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with a place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on 29 May on the line.

Ayew's moment of genius brought the tie to life after an opening 39 minutes that had been high on commitment but low on chances.

The Ghanaian also saw a late effort charged down as he looked to cut in from the right once more and fellow Swans forward Jamal Lowe blasted wide after drifting in from the other flank.

Swans stand up to Barnsley barrage

The Tykes forced their way into the play-offs under Valerien Ismael playing a high-octane and direct brand of football but they struggled to create an opportunity of any description in the first half.

However, thanks largely to the introduction of forward Morris through the middle, and backed loudly by home fans, back at Oakwell after 14 months away, they were transformed after the interval.

They poured forward relentlessly in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Swansea indebted to Woodman for his double save from Morris and Brittain.

Skipper Alex Mowatt then saw a long-range shot deflect narrowly off-target and Ayew was booked for a challenge on Morris that led to Cauley Woodrow bringing another low save out of Woodman.

Morris' late flick on to the woodwork aside, that storm was as good as it got for the hosts and USA striker Daryl Dike, who has been in superb form since joining on loan from Orlando in January, was replaced late on after a night where he struggled to get any change from impressive Swans' centre-backs Ben Cabango and Marc Guehi.

'Favourites' have the advantage

Before the game, Tykes boss Ismael had insisted the pressure was on the Swans to beat his underdogs and go on to win promotion back to the Premier League.

Swansea boss Steve Cooper, who led his side to this stage of the play-offs last season as well, will have been pleased with how his side stood up to the challenge and held out to take a one-goal lead into the return leg.

It was perhaps fitting that the match was won by a goal from Ayew, who is out of contract at the end of the season, that would not have looked out of place in the Premier League.

'Anything can happen' - reaction

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael:

"I can't blame my defenders for the goal because they pushed up as they are told and then you need the linesman to do his job.

"Anything can happen in the play-offs. Two years ago Leeds won at Derby in the away leg but it was Derby who came through in the end.

"Three times we have played Swansea now and we have not scored. We need to do it on Saturday, it's only half-time.

"I thank the fans for their support. It was a special atmosphere and it felt like there were 30,000 people there. It was an incredible feeling and I even felt it from my office when the players were warming up."

Swansea boss Steve Cooper:

"I was pleased with the effort. We knew what kind of game it would be and we stood up well to it. The two centre backs [Guehi and Cabango] are both 20 years old and they were excellent.

"We know Andre can do that. It was a real moment of excellence.

"It was a really good atmosphere and that has whetted the appetite for Saturday now. It will be a special moment to play in front of our fans again."

Line-ups

Barnsley

Formation 3-4-3

  • 40Collins
  • 20Sibbick
  • 30Helik
  • 6Andersen
  • 7Brittain
  • 21PalmerSubstituted forWilliamsat 78'minutes
  • 27Mowatt
  • 4Styles
  • 28FrieserSubstituted forMorrisat 45'minutes
  • 10DikeSubstituted forAdeboyejoat 88'minutes
  • 9Woodrow

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 2Williams
  • 5Kitching
  • 11Chaplin
  • 14Morris
  • 24Halme
  • 26Sollbauer
  • 29Adeboyejo
  • 34Moon

Swansea

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Woodman
  • 26Naughton
  • 44Cabango
  • 5Guehi
  • 24Bidwell
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 14Hourihane
  • 10A AyewBooked at 52mins
  • 20CullenSubstituted forRoutledgeat 69'minutes
  • 9Lowe

Substitutes

  • 2Bennett
  • 3Manning
  • 7Smith
  • 15Routledge
  • 17Whittaker
  • 18Hamer
  • 21Dhanda
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 23Roberts
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
3,787

Match Stats

Home TeamBarnsleyAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barnsley 0, Swansea City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barnsley 0, Swansea City 1.

  3. Post update

    Carlton Morris (Barnsley) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Cauley Woodrow with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Conor Hourihane.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Jake Bidwell.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Alex Mowatt (Barnsley).

  7. Post update

    André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Barnsley. Victor Adeboyejo replaces Daryl Dike.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Toby Peter Sibbick.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matt Grimes (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Conor Hourihane.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Grimes.

  12. Post update

    Callum Styles (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Conor Hourihane (Swansea City).

  14. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Freddie Woodman tries a through ball, but Wayne Routledge is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Williams (Barnsley).

  16. Post update

    Jake Bidwell (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Toby Peter Sibbick.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Barnsley. Jordan Williams replaces Romal Palmer.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Matt Grimes (Swansea City).

  20. Post update

    Daryl Dike (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Player of the match

A AyewAndré Ayew

with an average of 7.58

Barnsley

  1. Squad number27Player nameMowatt
    Average rating

    6.47

  2. Squad number30Player nameHelik
    Average rating

    6.37

  3. Squad number9Player nameWoodrow
    Average rating

    6.35

  4. Squad number14Player nameMorris
    Average rating

    6.30

  5. Squad number4Player nameStyles
    Average rating

    6.19

  6. Squad number20Player nameSibbick
    Average rating

    6.18

  7. Squad number10Player nameDike
    Average rating

    6.18

  8. Squad number6Player nameAndersen
    Average rating

    6.11

  9. Squad number7Player nameBrittain
    Average rating

    6.09

  10. Squad number21Player namePalmer
    Average rating

    6.08

  11. Squad number28Player nameFrieser
    Average rating

    6.02

  12. Squad number40Player nameCollins
    Average rating

    5.74

  13. Squad number2Player nameWilliams
    Average rating

    5.51

  14. Squad number29Player nameVictor Adeboyejo
    Average rating

    5.37

Swansea City

  1. Squad number10Player nameA Ayew
    Average rating

    7.58

  2. Squad number1Player nameWoodman
    Average rating

    7.34

  3. Squad number44Player nameCabango
    Average rating

    7.27

  4. Squad number5Player nameMarc Guehi
    Average rating

    7.27

  5. Squad number9Player nameLowe
    Average rating

    6.93

  6. Squad number8Player nameGrimes
    Average rating

    6.91

  7. Squad number26Player nameNaughton
    Average rating

    6.89

  8. Squad number6Player nameFulton
    Average rating

    6.62

  9. Squad number15Player nameRoutledge
    Average rating

    6.62

  10. Squad number24Player nameBidwell
    Average rating

    6.59

  11. Squad number14Player nameHourihane
    Average rating

    6.58

  12. Squad number20Player nameCullen
    Average rating

    6.53

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