Report | Swansea City 1 Barnsley 1
Olivier Ntcham’s stunning strike helped Swansea City come from behind to earn a point against Barnsley and extend their unbeaten run to six games at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The midfielder, on as a second-half substitute sent a brilliant first-time effort looping over the head of Barnsley keeper Jack Walton and into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
That cancelled out Claudio Gomes’ opener for the Tykes and the Swans pushed and pushed in search of a winner with Joel Piroe, Michael Obafemi, Ntcham and Hannes Wolf all going close.
But a winner was not to be as the hosts were unable to mark skipper Matt Grimes’ 200th appearance in Swansea colours with a win.
Russell Martin’s side had been unchanged from victory over Derby and it took less than a minute for the Swans to have the first shot on target, Piroe forcing Jack Walton to palm away a strike from the edge of the area after a raking pass from Grimes had sent Cyrus Christie scampering down the right.
The Swans had a couple of moments of alarm to deal with at the other end, Andy Fisher tipping over Amine Bassi’s free-kick before Jay Fulton headed the ball over his own bar with green shirts waiting to turn the ball in.
But the hosts were soon back on the front foot, patiently probing for gaps in a Barnsley defence that was content to sit deep and try and soak up the pressure.
Carlton Morris fired straight at Fisher from a deep free-kick, shortly after Matty Wolfe had deservedly gone in the book for a late tackle on Grimes that had left the Swansea captain requiring treatment, although he was okay to continue.
The Swans were then guilty of blowing a gilt-edged opportunity Obafemi seized on a loose ball and drove forward with one defender ahead and two white shirts in support.
He chose to feed Jamie Paterson, but the pass lacked pace and the midfielder was crowded out on the edge of the box.
Grimes then forced Walton into a parried save from distance, with Paterson just unable to reach the ball as it flew out towards him.
The Swans then crafted the clearance chance yet right on half-time. Wolf sent Paterson away down the left and his pull-back found Obafemi, but he scuffed his first-time shot and the half ended goalless.
Wolf was involved again at the outset of the second half, combining with Piroe and Paterson but his final cross for Christie was cut out by Liam Kitching.
But it was the visitors who took the lead as a challenge on Grimes in midfield went unpunished and the Tykes worked in Gomes to fire under Fisher and into the far corner.
Martin sent on Ntcham for Fulton a couple of minutes later but it was nearly 2-0 when Joel Latibeaudiere turned a Callum Brittain strike onto his own post.
And within seconds Swansea had swept upfield to level through Ntcham.
It was a superb finish as, from a lay-off by Christie, the Frenchman swept a superb right-footed strike over Walton and into the net.
Barnsley almost restored their lead immediately, Wolfe curling wastefully wide with the goal at his mercy in what was becoming an increasingly frantic affair.
Paterson had a shot blocked after excellent work by Wolf down the left-hand side, before Kyle Naughton’s drive cross was parried away with Piroe waiting.
Wolf was proving a real handful, while Ntcham was denied a second by a sprawling fingertip save from Walton as the game entered its final 15 minutes.
The Barnsley keeper then denied Wolf as the Swans ratcheted up the pressure, and did superbly to block Piroe’s prodded effort from Obafemi’s knockdown.
Obafemi then had a close-range shot blocked by what appeared to be a Barnsley arm but referee Andy Woolmer was not interested in Swansea’s appeals.
There was still one final chance to come, Piroe heading wide with the last touch of the game as it ended all-square.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Ben Cabango, Kyle Naughton, Joel Latibeaudiere (Ryan Manning 65); Cyrus Christie, Jay Fulton (Olivier Ntcham 56), Matt Grimes (captain), Hannes Wolf; Joel Piroe, Jamie Paterson (Cameron Congreve 90); Michael Obafemi.
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Korey Smith, Kyle Joseph, Nathanael Ogbeta.
Barnsley: Jack Walton, Liam Kitching, Mads Andersen (captain), Callum Brittain, Carlton Morris, Claudio Gomes, Romal Palmer (Callum Styles 68), Remy Vita, Amine Bassi, Domingos Quina, Matty Wolfe (Cauley Woodrow 73).
Unused Substitutes: Daniel Jinadu, Aaron Leya Iseka, Jasper Moon, William Hondermarck, Victor Adeboyejo.
Referee: Andy Woolmer