Report | Barnsley 0 Swansea City 2
Late goals from Olivier Ntcham and Jamie Paterson saw Swansea City get their rewards for a thoroughly dominant display against Barnsley at Oakwell.
Frenchman Ntcham came off the bench to steer in fellow substitute Ryan Manning’s cross and give Russell Martin’s side the lead, before Paterson drove into the area to fire home left-footed and seal a third away win of the campaign.
It was no less than the visitors deserved having taken a stranglehold on the game from the off, ending the night with just shy 80 of per cent of possession over 800 completed, the latter a season’s best.
Joel Piroe and Ethan Laird had the best chances of the game for the Swans, before Ntcham’s classy finish and Paterson's confident strike settled the contest in their favour.
The result leaves the Swans ninth in the table on 27 points, four adrift of the play-off places ahead of Saturday's clash with Reading.
Head coach Martin had made two changes from the weekend draw with Blackpool as Ryan Bennett and Korey Smith replaced Manning and Ntcham.
Swansea saw plenty of the ball in the early stages, but without quite managing to find the penetration they would have wanted.
But the dominance of the ball certainly quietened a home crowd welcoming new head coach Poya Asbaghi to Oakwell for the first time.
The Swans prompted and probed as they moved their hosts around defensively, with Laird just failing to control a pass that threatened to put him in space, before seeing a firm, low cross cut out in the six-yard box.
Smith was then unable to get the ball out of his feet from a Ben Cabango pass after Laird had got away from Jordan Williams on the byline.
Cabango blocked a Dominik Frieser show at the other end on a rare foray forward for the home side but the game was soon back being almost exclusively played in the Barnsley half.
The frustration for the Swans was that when they did get into promising positions, they were not able to find the composure to open up a clear sight of goal, with Jake Bidwell and Laird seeing crosses blocked following sweeping cross-field passes to open up space.
Just before the break a prolonged period of possession ended with a sweeping attack and Laird seeing his header cleared off the line, after Paterson and Bidwell combined down the left.
The wing-back then burst beyond Williams again, with Piroe sending his right-footed shot agonisingly wide of the near post.
Such was Swansea’s dominance, they had completed just shy of 500 passes (497) and had a 80.7 per cent of the ball, but it remained all-square as the side’s headed for the changing rooms at the end of the first 45 minutes.
The pattern of the game remained unchanged early in the second period, Swansea having the vast majority of territory and possession and looking to find a way through a deep, stubborn defence.
But it was the hosts who had the first real chance of the half, Devante Cole striding down the right and picking out Cauley Woodrow, but Ryan Bennett did enough to take the sting out of the shot and Ben Hamer gathered.
The hosts then made two changes; Carlton Morris and Aaron Iseka replacing Frieser and Cole just before the hour mark.
Swansea’s first change soon followed, Ntcham taking the place of Flynn Downes, with Manning soon following in place of Bidwell.
Paterson produced a clever disguised cross to the far stick, but Laird could only steer his header into the grateful arms of Brad Collins in the Barnsley goal.
Paterson was soon striding forward again, but Collins was out of his box quickly to snuff out Piroe’s chances.
The Swans were pressing insistently and the breakthrough arrived with 16 minutes to go through substitutes Ntcham and Manning.
Nice build-up involving Smith gave Manning the room to cross, and his lovely pass found Ntcham in stride to steer the ball into the corner of the net for his third goal in Swansea colours.
And Paterson then made sure of the points as he drove with purpose into the area, and coolly fired a low shot beyond the keeper for his seventh goal of the campaign.
Liam Cullen nearly added a sensational third in stoppage time, but his volley just flew over the bar after slick inter-passing had cut Barnsley to pieces.
Not that it mattered, as Swansea extended their 15-year unbeaten streak against the Tykes in fine style.
Barnsley: Brad Collins;Callum Brittain, Michal Helik, Jasper Moon, Jordan Williams; Romal Palmer (Obbi Oulare 77), Josh Benson, Callum Styles; Dominik Frieser (Aaron Iseka 57), Cauley Woodrow (captain), Devante Cole (Carlton Morris 57).
Jordan Williams, Callum Styles, Callum Brittain, Cauley Woodrow (captain), Josh Benson, Jasper Moon, Romal Palmer (Obbi Oulare 77), Dominik Frieser (Aaron Iseka 57), Michal Helik, Devante Cole (Carlton Morris 57).
Unused Substitutes: Jack Walton, Claudio Gomes, Toby Sibbick, Victor Adeboyejo.
Swansea City: Ben Hamer; Ryan Bennett, Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango; Ethan Laird, Flynn Downes (Olivier Ntcham 64), Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell (Ryan Manning 72); Korey Smith, Jamie Paterson; Joel Piroe (Liam Cullen 86).
Unused Substitutes: Steven Benda, Joel Latibeaudiere, Liam Walsh, Rhys Williams.
Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 11,342 (365 away)