Andre Ayew’s moment of magic proved the difference as Swansea secured a 1-0 victory at Barnsley in the first leg of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final.
In a fast and furious game, Ayew curled an inch-perfect effort beyond the dive of Bradley Collins to give the visitors the lead in the 39th minute.
Buoyed by the introduction of substitute Carlton Morris at half-time, Barnsley piled the pressure on Swansea, but it proved to be a frustrating night for the hosts as they found no way past Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
The result sees Steve Cooper’s side head back to the Liberty Stadium for the second leg on May 22 with a slim advantage, while Barnsley are left with plenty to do if they are to keep their own Premier League dream alive.
🇬🇭 ANDRE AYEW with a worldie.
Goal number 17 in the 🏴 Championship this season.
Need this guy back In the Prem!pic.twitter.com/sexcJ4Ayq9#championship
— Matthew Bauer (@mattbauer__5) May 17, 2021
Should Swansea beat Barnsley over two legs, they will face the winner of the game between Bournemouth and Brentford.
The championship playoffs take place after the league phase has concluded with the mini-tournament ensuring a compelling end to the season as only one team is promoted to the Premier League, while the remaining sides face another year in the second tier.
This year, Bournemouth, Barnsley, Swansea and Brentford are the teams hoping to gain qualification to the Premier League via the championship playoffs.