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Andre Ayew: Ghana star’s brilliance against Barnsley hailed

3:28 PM GMT 18/05/2021
Andre Ayew Swansea City 2019-20
The Jack Army boss reflects on Monday’s triumph in the Championship play-off semi-final fixture

Swansea City coach Steve Cooper has described Andre Ayew’s goal against Barnsley in the Championship promotion play-off as a “moment of excellence”.

In the semi-final first leg fixture, the Ghana international decided the fixture as his 39th-minute effort ensured a 1-0 away win.

He latched onto a Kyle Naughton through-ball on the edge of the box, beat two men before curling a cool effort beyond goalkeeper Bradley Collins into the left corner.

“We knew what the game would be, we felt it would go a certain way and away from home you have to respect that and stand up to it and match it," Cooper said, as reported by his club's official website.

“I thought we did that. We got a real moment of excellence with Andre’s goal and we managed to continue to be strong defensively.

“We could have shown a bit more quality on the ball at times, but I get it, the fans were back in tonight and there was a good atmosphere.

“Barnsley are a difficult team to play against with the way they play and there is that psychological thing where you are trying to protect the lead a little bit.”

Monday’s result puts Swansea in a good position to progress to the final of the play-off where a showdown with Brentford or Bournemouth awaits.

The ultimate winners will secure promotion to the Premier League, joining Norwich City and Watford from the second-tier.

“We did that, there were not many chances in the game and it was a night where you had to be prepared to fight for everything," Cooper added.

“Freddie made some good saves, Marc and Ben – two 20-year-olds – were excellent at the back and have a great role model in Ryan Bennett.

“It was just a good effort from the boys, it was not a typical Swansea game but you have to respect that and you have to deal with it.

“Andre has then made the difference and we know he can do that, we’ve seen it plenty of times.”

Ayew has now taken his season goal tally for Swansea to 17, one more strike than he registered for the club last season.