Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew provided an assist and also scored from the penalty spot as Swansea City beat Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The English second-tier has been inactive since March 8 because of the coronavirus pandemic. During the lockdown, Andre spent time at the home of his younger brother and former Swansea player Jordan, now at Crystal Palace.

The Swans’ last outing saw them play out a goalless draw with table leaders West Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium. It was their third game without a win which dropped them out of the top 10.

They were in full swing however on Saturday with Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster opening proceedings in the 18th minute. Ayew made a run down the left flank and his pass found Brewster who tucked it in between the legs of Boro goalie Dejan Stojanovic.

Brewster made it 2-0 three minutes after he latched on to Franco-Congolese winger Aldo Kalulu’s cross and fired home a fierce volley that gave Stojanovic no chance of stopping it.

Ayew then finished the job from the spot in the 34th minute after Middlesbrough captain George Friend brought down Swansea’s Conor Gallagher in the penalty box.

The 30-year-old was taken off in the 81st minute and replaced by Bersant Celina. It was only the fifth time Ayew failed to complete 90 minutes in his 36 Championship appearances this season.

Only in the opening two matches of the season against Hull City and Derby, which ended in a win and draw, respectively, did Ayew fail to either make the matchday squad or starting XI.

Besides the goal and assist which was his 19th combined in the Championship this term, (13 goals, six assists), Ayew made 43 touches on the ball and 22 accurate passes (91.7%) which was the highest percentage of any player on the pitch.

He was also astute defensively, making four tackles and five clearances.

Swansea sit temporarily in seventh place, tied on 56 points with sixth-placed Preston North End who occupy the final Premier League promotion play-off spot.

Their next outing is a home tie with Luton Town at the Liberty Stadium on June 27.