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    Classy Ayew finish earns Swansea narrow lead over Barnsley in play-off semi

    Andre Ayew’s expert first-half finish earned Swansea a 1-0 win at Barnsley in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Oakwell on Monday evening.

    The veteran forward produced the only piece of real quality in the opening period to give the visitors the advantage heading into the second leg at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

    Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt returned to the starting line-up for the clash with the Swans. Mowatt missed the home draw against Norwich on the final day of the regular season due to a groin strain.

    Daryl Dike and Dominik Frieser were also back in the starting XI, while Conor Chaplin, Carlton Morris and Jasper Moon dropped to the bench.

    Swansea made two changes to the side which started in their 2-0 defeat at Watford nine days ago, with defenders Kyle Naughton and Ben Cabango replacing Ryan Bennett and Connor Roberts.

    Barnsley were given a rapturous reception by around 4,500 home fans, who were allowed back into the stadium for the first time since March 2020.

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    Ayew produced the first bit of finesse in a fast and furious first half to give Swansea the lead, arguably against the run of play, in the 39th minute.

    The experienced striker was found in the area before cutting back onto his left foot and curling past a helpless Brad Collins.

    The home side huffed and puffed in the second half, with Carlton Morris seeing an effort parried and Callum Brittain failing to convert the rebound.

    Barnsley came mighty close to grabbing a leveller when Morris’ back-heeled effort from a corner flicked off the crossbar in stoppage-time.

     

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