Barcelona were pegged back by La Liga’s bottom club Espanyol on Saturday as Wu Lei struck late to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw in a thrilling Catalan derby.
Luis Suarez appeared to have inspired another turnaround at the RCDE Stadium after he cancelled out David Lopez’s opener with a deft half-volley before digging out an exquisite pass for substitute Arturo Vidal to finish.
But a red card for Frenkie de Jong with 16 minutes left gave Espanyol renewed hope and Chinese forward Wu emerged the hero, firing past stand-in goalkeeper Neto to rescue a point in Abelardo Fernandez’s first game in charge.
Barcelona remain top of the table but only on goal difference, their two-point advantage removed after Real Madrid earlier clinched an impressive 3-0 win away at Getafe.
Barca now switch their attention to the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia next week, where a Clasico final awaits if Real Madrid beat Valencia in the last four and they can overcome Atletico.
But coach Ernesto Valverde will have much to ponder after defensive problems again undermined his team against the league’s bluntest attack.
Lopez was unmarked as he headed in Marc Roca’s cross in the 23rd minute while at the other end chances were few and far between, with Lionel Messi going closest with a header at the back post.
Vidal came on at half-time for Ivan Rakitic and Suarez worked his magic, angling his foot perfectly to divert Jordi Alba’s cross inside the near post before picking out Vidal to make it 2-1 nine minutes later.