Andre Ayew Gave Chelsea A Tough Opening Game


Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew announced his arrival on the Premier League scene with a superbly taken first goal to help Swansea City to an eye-catching opening day draw at champions Chelsea.

Football Correspondent Chris Wathan casts his eye over the Ghanaian’s glorious debut.

Welcome to the Premier League

Ayew would have expected a difference from Lige 1 to the Premier League and it seemed initially as though the frenetic pace right from the off caught him off guard.

And the welcome to the physical side of things came with a Gary Cahill arm across the face that left him on his haunches and needing a stitch or two above the eyebrow.

But any thoughts that it would see the 25-year-old go into his shell were well and truly misguided as he grew in stature and threat and showed just why Swansea were so excited by enticing him to the Liberty.

Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew

The goal

It was a wonderful goal all round, with Jefferson Montero’s speed and service, Bafetumbi Gomis’ subtle movement and header, even Thibaut Courtois’ save was worthy of note.

But the highlight has to be the ice-cold instincts inside the box from Ayew as the ball fell to him, opting against the wild swing most would have gone for and dragging the ball back delightfully to leave John Terry flailing before a well-placed finish.

Class in a nutshell.

 The celebration

It’s fair to say the goal meant a lot.

Attacking players love to get up and running and getting off the mark 29 minutes into his new life – compared to 599 minutes for Marseille – will give anyone confidence.

He also seemed to realise how much it meant as he pounded his chest and slid on his knees but quite what pal Gomis was up to after that is anyone’s guess.

The attacking threat

 The presence of Ayew really adds something to Swansea. He can hug the touchline – though, not in the same explosive manner of fliers such as Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer – but the fact he is able to play as a striker or off a striker brings the extra penalty box threat that the side perhaps needed.

The added extras

Swansea have signed a player of undoubted quality but they also have a team player who is far from the big time Charlie that his World Cup and Champions League pedigree could easily breed.

He offered encouragement to others, encouraged and urged against complacency rather than shouting or throwing his hands in the air in frustration.

He was willing to dig-in for the team which is a necessary fit for Swansea success, notably winning the ball back in his own half right at the death where the exertion of his first game in British football could have easily taken its toll.

Garry Monk’s verdict

The Swans boss has been at pains to talk about the team effort rather than singling out individuals but it was clear he got what he was looking for – and expecting – from Ayew.

“That was a glimpse of what he can offer,” said Monk. “He’s come in and he’s been incredible.

“He’s worked extremely hard with the group and the group have worked hard with him to get him settled. It’s always good for a new player when you come into a new league – even though we knew they have great quality – to get that first goal will give him great confidence.”

Andre Ayew Gave Chelsea A Tough Opening Game