Andre AyewA solo strike in the first half at Oakwell gave Swansea a 1-0 lead in the Skybet Championship playoff semifinals with Barnsley.
Ayew created the only class moment in the game on the first leg, six minutes before half-time. Steve cooperSide.
Swansea, who defended a narrow advantage on the return leg of Liberty Stadium on Saturday, owed much to goalkeeper Freddie Woodman’s excellent second-half save, but the Yorkshire club also struck a crossbar in the second half.
Before the kick-off, the stadium was filled with uplifting expectations, and for the first time since March 2020, about 4,500 Reds fans could see their side.
The announcer on the day of the match perfectly captured that mood. “I’m very happy to say this for the first time in 436 days,” he said. “Welcome to Oakwell!”
This was the first time Barnsley head coach Valérien Ismael, appointed last October, walked to his dugout in front of the crowd, and he received an enthusiastic welcome.
45-year-old Barnsley transformed from a relegation candidate to a Premier League candidate in seven months. Meanwhile, Swansea has reached the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
The homeside was the first to threaten when the refitted skipper Alex Mowatt’s efforts went off target.
It was fast and furious, but the finesse was low and the first moment of quality made Swansea a breakthrough in 39 minutes.
Ayew received Kyle Naughton’s right channel pass and his sharp inner turn gave him space to curl his sweet left foot finish in a distant post for his 18th goal of the season.
Barnsley responded, but defender Michał Helik’s heading was weak and easily collected by Swansea goalkeeper Woodman.
Reds forward Carlton Morris replaced Dominique Freezer in half-time, and Woodman’s save of a shot had an immediate impact, and Woodman brilliantly denied Column Britain in the rebound.
Mowat’s free kick was saved by Woodman as Swansea was swept away on his hind legs, but visitors survived the storm.
Swansea’s on-loan midfielder and former Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane’s free kick was overturned by Brad Collins, who slightly missed Jamal Lowe’s goal.
Visitors did everything they could to slow down the game, and their time-wasting tactics became more prominent. With 10 minutes remaining, it was all heading for the Welsh side of the plan.
When Carlton Morris turned the ball from Mowat’s corner to the goal, it was almost undone, but he only saw his curling efforts hit the crossbar.
Swansea survived and extended his undefeated run against Barnsley to 17 games.
The Reds defeated the Welsh club with a penalty in the 2006 League One playoff final, but their final victory over 90 minutes returned to 1983.
Andre Ayew defeats Barnsley and Swansea wins championship playoff semifinals
Source link Andre Ayew defeats Barnsley and Swansea wins championship playoff semifinals