Suarez scores as Barca condemn Espanyol to relegation

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring their first goal against Espanyol at Camp Nou July 8, 2020. — Reuters pic
Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring their first goal against Espanyol at Camp Nou July 8, 2020. — Reuters pic

BARCELONA, July 9 — 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, also condemning 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 shortly after both sides had been reduced to 10 men 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, still chasing a third consecutive Spanish title, are on 76 points after 35 games while Real Madrid are top with 77 and can restore their four-point advantage when they play 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. They are bottom of the table on 24 points after 35 games. — AFP

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