Barcelona moved to within one point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over Espanyol, following in a tempestuous derby where both sides finished with 10 men Luis Suarez has insisted Barcelona will continue to keep the pressure on Real Madrid in the race to win this season’s La Liga title.
Barcelona moved to within one point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over Espanyol on Wednesday night.
After Antoine Griezmann’s clever back-heel into the path of Lionel Messi led to the Argentine’s shot being blocked, Suarez was on hand to fire home the loose ball in the 56th minute.
The much-needed win puts Barca just one point behind Real Madrid but having played a game more, with the league leaders hosting Alaves on Friday night.
“Our goal is to win each of our three games,” Suarez said after the win over Espanyol.
“Then we have to wait for the opponent to slip up. We’re only thinking about our own games.”
Barca’s win confirmed Espanyol’s relegation, with the pair having played out a tempestuous derby where both sides finished with 10 men at the Nou Camp.
Ansu Fati was introduced for the start of the second half but lasted just five minutes as he was shown a red card, upgraded from yellow after the video assistant referee intervened, for a studs-up challenge on Fernando Calero.
But Espanyol’s one-man advantage lasted just another three minutes as Pol Lozano was given his marching orders – again after initially being booked – for a rash challenge on Gerard Pique before Suarez settled matters.
Messi’s volley produced a sublime save from Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez but Barca rarely looked like conceding and closed out the match with minimal fuss to keep realistic hopes alive of retaining their top-flight crown.
Espanyol, meanwhile, will bow out of the Spanish top-flight for the first time since 1994. Remarkably, on the four previous occasions, they have been relegated, they have immediately come straight back up.