Spanish giants Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home on Wednesday, a result that also condemned their neighbours to relegation from the top flight.
Luis Suarez struck the only goal in the 56th minute, lashing a loose ball into the net after Lionel Messi’s shot was deflected.
This was shortly after both sides had been reduced to 10 men each in a frantic start to the second half.
Barca’s teenage forward Ansu Fati was sent off for a reckless tackle five minutes after coming off the bench.
But Espanyol’s numerical advantage lasted only three minutes as Pol Lozano was dismissed, also following a VAR review.
Barca, chasing a third consecutive Spanish title, are on 76 points after 35 games while Real Madrid is top with 77, but can restore their four-point advantage when they host Alaves on Friday.
Espanyol, one of Spain’s most prestigious clubs, were relegated for the first time since winning promotion back to La Liga in 1994.