Espanyol rescued a point against Barcelona through Joselu in a Catalan derby than turned chaotic at the end.
The Blaugrana overtook Real Madrid at the top of La Liga on goal difference, but on their return to play, they were limited to a point despite dominating with more than 75% possession and 21 shots.
Marcos Alonso scored with a header earlier on, but he gave up a penalty which Joselu converted 17 from time.
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who officiated Argentina’s spirited World Cup quarterfinal mathc against the Netherlands, sent both teams down to ten men after sending Jordi Alba and Vinicious Souza.
Barcelona took the lead in the seventh minute when Andreas Christensen kept Alba’s corner alive with a header into the six-yard box, where Alonso nodded home.
Alonso missed a glorious chance from close range that could have doubled his tally for the day.
Barca kept up their superiority despite Gavi leaving the game early in the second half due to a back injury.
Joselu restored parity 17 minutes to time from the spot after Alonso casually tripped hiim in the box.
The Blaugrana were reduced to 10 men when Alba was sent off for dissent, a clear evidence of their dissatisfaction.
Souza was booked for a cynical foul, minutes later, and Leandro Cabrera’s shockingly missed a red card for appearing to kick Robert Lewandoski. Lahoz paid for it.
Espanyol keeper Fernandez grabbed headlines by producing two crucial late saves to earn them an improbable point.
Barcelona unlucky for the 13th time
Barcelona failed to beat their local rivals Espanyol for the 13th time in a row, despite being unbeaten in 25 La Liga games.
Diego Martinez’s team became just the fourth team to successfully attack the Blaugrana in the Spanish top division this season after Real Sociedad, Real Madrid and Osasuna.
An emotional day for Alba
Alba accomplished another feat as he became just the 12th player to play 300 La Liga games for Barcelona.
The seasoned full-back, though, had a game to forget after losing his cool with the referee late in the game and was given his marching orders.
Joselu steps up
Espanyol’s striker had to stay persistent despite Barca controlling long stretches of the game.
He stepped up at the crucial moment and calmly converted the penalty for his eighth goal of the season- a total unmatched by any other Spanish player in La Liga.