European roundup: Suárez's winner for Barça condemns Espanyol to relegation

Barcelona kept up their pursuit of La Liga leaders Real Madrid by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home, the victory also condemning their neighbours to relegation from the top flight.

Luis Suárez 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.

Barcelona’s 17-year-old 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 before Pol Lozano was dismissed, also following a VAR review.

Barcelona, still chasing a third consecutive Spanish title, are on 76 points after 35 games. Real are top on 77 and 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 to La Liga in 1994. They are bottom on 24 points after 35 games.

The Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué embraced the city’s campaign to get people cycling again for the sake of the environment in the coronavirus era by riding his bike to the match. Piqué, who has ridden an electric bike to training, took onlookers by surprise as he raced down the ramp into the Camp Nou car park wearing a baseball cap, shorts and T-shirt.

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In Serie A, Atalanta continued their remarkable season by beating Sampdoria 2-0 to extend their winning run to nine league games and climb to third in the table. Ruslan Malinovskyi’s inswinging corner found Rafael Tolói at the far post and the Brazilian outjumped two defenders to head home in the 75th minute. Luis Muriel fired the second 10 minutes later. The Sampdoria manager, Claudio Ranieri, was sent off just before the first goal for persistent dissent.

Roma ended three successive league defeats with a 2-1 win over Parma. Bologna, who won 2-1 at Inter on Sunday, were brought back to earth with a 2-1 home defeat by Sassuolo. Torino pulled themselves away from the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over Brescia.