A special striker from Memphis Depay and a certain degree of luck allowed the Catalan side to pick up their first victory in the league since mid October, as Espanyol fumbled a number of chances and hit the woodwork.
Another side that will be cursing their own misfortune are Sevilla, who were forced to rely upon a last-minute equaliser from Ivan Rakitic to spare their blushes in a 2-2 draw with Alaves.
Julen Lopetegui’s side sit top of La Liga for now but could have extended their lead by two points had they claimed all three points.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid also made hard work of a match they should have perhaps won with ease, when an outstanding bullet header from Felipe earned the capital side all three points in a narrow 1-0 win over Osasuna. Diego Simeone’s side remain in fourth place.
That is the final of four matches on Saturday. Sunday’s action kicks off with Getafe welcoming Cadiz Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Elsewhere Real Madrid travel to Granada, Betis make the trip to Elche and Real Sociedad host Valencia before the final game of the matchday takes place on Sunday night in the form of Rayo Vallecano v Mallorca.
LA LIGA STATISTICS: