Atletico Madrid's hopes of becoming LaLiga runners-up suffered a blow as Espanyol inflicted a first home defeat of the season on Diego Simeone's side.
Oscar Melendo's shot found the net after eight minutes of the second half, courtesy of a heavy deflection off the head of Stefan Savic, and a below-par Atletico side failed to claw their way back on a hot afternoon at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Leo Baptistao doubled Espanyol's lead with 13 minutes left on the clock and a two-goal advantage was a fair reflection of a game in which the visitors were by far the more fluent team, attacking incisively and frustrating their hosts in midfield.
The result meant Atletico dropped league points at home for the first time since January, when they were held 1-1 by Girona in a game that marked the last time they had conceded at the Metropolitano, and gave third-placed Real Madrid the opportunity to close the gap separating the two sides to one point in Sunday's Clasico with Barcelona.
Espanyol were already safe from relegation before the game but coach David Gallego will have been delighted to see his players live up to their billing as one of LaLiga's most underrated sides this season.
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