Swansea City v Barnsley | The story of the tie

23rd May
First team
Marc Guehi

Swansea City have booked their place in the Championship play-off final after sealing a 2-1 aggregate victory over Barnsley at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night.

Steve Cooper’s side will lock horns with Brentford at Wembley on May 29 for the chance to gain promotion back to the Premier League.

A tight first leg at Oakwell on Monday was decided by a wonderful individual effort from Andre Ayew, giving the Swans a slender 1-0 lead heading back to the Liberty.

Matt Grimes’ stunning goal gave the hosts breathing space in the tie, but a neat Cauley Woodrow strike set up a tense finale in SA1.

Thankfully, the Swans held on and will now appear in their fifth final from eight play-off appearances.

Here, you can relive the drama as we look back at the key moments across both legs, and where the tie was won and lost.

Barnsley home PO Steve Cooper


31 mins | First test for Freddie

Following a frantic start at Oakwell, the Swans are under pressure as Barnsley attack down the right flank. 

Skipper Alex Mowatt sends in a dangerous cross aimed at Daryl Dike, who is lurking in the box. 

Thankfully for the visitors, the striker is unable to connect and Freddie Woodman dives to collect the loose ball. 

38 mins | Worth a go!

Having been with his boyhood club since the age of eight, this is the biggest match of Liam Cullen's young career. 

The striker hasn’t stopped running all game; working the channels well and chasing every lost cause.

When the ball breaks kindly around 45 yards from goal, he spots keeper Brad Collins off his line and cannot resist an audacious attempt.

The Barnsley stopper watches the ball all the way into his arms and there is a wry smile on the face of Cullen.

39 mins | YES ANDRE!!!

The deadlock is broken and it's Andre Ayew once again! 

The Ghanaian, who was on target against Brentford in last year's play-off semi-final first leg, is well-found by Kyle Naughton on the right flank. 

In trademark fashion, he cuts inside onto his favoured left foot before curling a shot into the far corner of the net.

That is goal number 17 of another wonderful season for our number 10.

Barnsley 0 Swansea City 1.

Barnsley away PO Andre Ayew 4

40 mins | Good defending

Barnsley look to respond immediately and send a dangerous cross into the box. 

Marc Guehi, who has been excellent all night, dives in and bravely heads the ball away, before Woodman helps it behind for a corner. 

The visitors subsequently maintain their focus and see out the danger.

44 mins | Well done Freddie!

The Swans' concentration is tested once again as the clock ticks down towards half-time. 

Barnsley turn up the pressure with a succession of long throws into the box. 

One of them is glanced towards goal by Michal Helik, but Woodman flies across to deny him.

48 mins | Magnificent double-save!

Swansea are under the cosh in the early stages of the second half. 

Just on as a substitute, Carlton Morris unleashes a low shot on goal that is parried by Woodman. 

The keeper has to quickly get to his feet and across the goal to keep out Callum Brittain's follow-up attempt from point-blank range. 

A magnificent double-save by our number one!

Freddie Woodman

50 mins | On yer head, son!

With their fans firmly behind them, Barnsley continue to threaten in their search for an equaliser. 

Space opens on the edge of the box for Mowatt to try his luck. 

The skipper's powerful effort looks like it could trouble the Swans goal. 

Thankfully, Jake Bidwell throws himself in the way and diverts it behind for a corner with his head.

71 mins | Move over Manuel!

Into the final 20 minutes, Barnsley look to catch the Swans out on the counter. 

Dike seeks out the run of Morris with a neat through ball in behind Guehi and Ben Cabango. 

But with sweeping skills that Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer would have been proud of, Woodman races out of goal to beat the striker to the ball and clear the danger. 

85 mins | Square it!

A great opportunity for the Swans to double their lead. 

Ayew is found in space on the right and embarks on a dangerous run into the box. 

The Ghanaian has Jamal Lowe and Wayne Routledge to aim for, but looks to cut inside onto his left foot and shoot. 

His attempt is blocked but Conor Hourihane subsequently tees up Matt Grimes, whose fierce drive stings the palms of Collins.

90+2 mins | Phew!

The hosts seek an equaliser deep into stoppage time and everybody is back for the Swans. 

Following good movement, Morris flicks on a corner at the near post to send a looping flick brushing Woodman's gloves and towards the far stick. 

It is almost in slow motion and everyone’s hearts are in their mouths.

Thankfully, the ball comes back out off the crossbar and the Swans hold out for a crucial 1-0 victory.

Barnsley away PO Andre Ayew celebration


18 mins | Unlucky

Both sides are seeking control on a night where the Jack Army are welcomed back to the Liberty Stadium for the first time in 14 months.

The anticipation rises among the home fans as Jamal Lowe threads a through ball looking for Andre Ayew.

The Ghanaian chases, but Brad Collins is quickly out of goal to smother it.

30 mins | Making his Marc

Looking to level the tie, Barnsley threaten on the half-hour mark. 

The ball is cut back to Carlton Morris just inside the box. 

The striker, who is drafted into the starting line-up this evening, looks to open his body and get a shot away.

But Marc Guehi is quickly on the scene with a well-timed challenge to deny him.

39 mins | WHAT A GOAL!!!

The Swans have breathing space in the tie thanks to a stunning Matt Grimes effort! 

Conor Hourihane's free-kick is only cleared as far as the skipper on the edge of the box. 

In similar fashion to Leon Britton’s goal against Nottingham Forest 10 years ago, Grimes cleverly steps inside a challenge before curling a wonderful shot into the far corner of the net. 

There may only be 3,000 fans in, but the roof is almost lifted from the Liberty.

Swansea City 1 Barnsley 0 (2-0 agg).

Matt Grimes cele

41 mins | Focus, boys!

The visitors look to respond immediately to falling behind on the night. 

Following a positive spell of play, the ball ricochets kindly for Callum Brittain just inside the box. 

The midfielder aims for the far corner with a first-time effort, but it flies wide of the target.

44 mins | Good goalkeeping

Swansea with an opportunity to move three goals clear in the tie as they force a corner just before half-time. 

Hourihane's in-swinging delivery looks like it might just dip under the crossbar. 

But under pressure from Guehi, Collins does well to push the ball away to safety.

Nevertheless, a good half’s work by the Swans; they are three quarters of the way there.

64 mins | Great reactions Freddie!

There are just over 25 minutes remaining at the Liberty.

Needing two goals to force extra-time, Barnsley turn up the pressure. 

A deep corner from Callum Styles is met by Morris at the far post. 

The striker gets up well and his downward header is on target, but Woodman is alert and able to block.

67 mins | Great block, Biders!

The visitors continue to threaten to find a way back into the contest. 

Following a neat exchange down the left flank, a low cross skids through the penalty area to the onrushing Jordan Williams at the far post. 

However, Jake Bidwell is well-placed and makes a tremendous block to deny the goalbound first-time shot.

You can certainly hear what that means to the Jack Army, who have been in fine voice as always this evening.

Freddie Woodman

71 mins | Barnsley give themselves hope

Barnsley pull a goal back through Cauley Woodrow. 

Williams is heavily involved again as the right-back embarks on a run from deep and into the penalty area. 

He then demonstrates good awareness to pull the ball back for Woodrow, who beats Woodman with a brilliant first-time finish. 

A big final 20 minutes await the Swans.

Swansea City 1 Barnsley 1 (2-1 agg).

88 mins | What a time to slip!

Since seeing their advantage halved, the Swans have defended admirably and are almost there.

All of a sudden, they have a chance to counter and Korey Smith is clean through.

The substitute has been brilliant since he came on, demonstrating his experience to great effect in the middle of the park.

He can wrap things up here and races away from the defence.

However, the midfielder seems to hesitate at the vital moment and slips under pressure from the outrushing Collins, who smothers the ball and the agonising wait for the full-time whistle goes on.

90+6 mins | QUE SERA SERA!!!

Everyone, including goalkeeper Collins, is forward for Barnsley as they launch one last free-kick forward. 

This is it for the visitors; we have played the five allocated minutes of stoppage time.

Thankfully, Lowe gets to the ball first and hammers it away from danger and towards the far corner of the pitch. 

Referee John Brooks subsequently blows the full-time whistle and the Liberty erupts. The Swans are going to Wembley!

Jamal Lowe