Swansea City are in control of their play-off semi-final with Barnsley after Andre Ayew’s goal secured a 1-0 win last night at Oakwell.
Steve Cooper’s side were up against 4,500 returning fans at Oakwell, with Barnsley looking to set the tempo and limiting Swansea for large parts of the opening half-hour.
However, Ayew got the better of Michal Helik on 39 minutes, pulling the centre-back out wide before checking onto his left foot and curling beyond Brad Collins.
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Valerien Ismael’s Tykes would be knocking on the door throughout the second-half, with Freddie Woodman just about denying every member of Barnsley’s attack at different points, whilst Marc Guehi put in a commanding performance in the heart of defence.
As it was, Swansea held out and Ayew was the difference for Cooper’s side, striking his 17th goal of another decent campaign.
Taking to Twitter to reflect on an evening of good work, Ayew said:
Half time ⚪️⚫️still lot’s of work to be done👊🏽⚽️can’t wait to see the Jack Army on Saturday 🦢 YJB pic.twitter.com/8bt8yePlrD
— André Ayew (@AyewAndre) May 18, 2021
As Ayew alludes to, Swansea will gain the advantage that Barnsley had last night, with fans due back in the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening for the second leg.
Cooper is looking to guide his side past Barnsley and to Wembley, with Swansea looking to go one step further than 2019/20, when they were beaten in the play-offs by Brentford despite winning the first leg.
Like all the Swansea players, it will be great for Ayew to get fans back behind him in the stadium.
It will give his performances a lift, which is a real prospect given the fact he’s truck 17 times this season and excelled behind closed doors.
There wasn’t much in the first leg for him, but when a chance fell his way, Ayew struck clinically. There were other moments too when the 31-year-old pressed well and helped elevate pressure off the Swansea defence.
Heading back to South Wales, he could well be key again.
Thoughts? Let us know!