Espanyol opened a seven-point gap on the bottom three as they defeated in-form Real Betis 1-0 in a dull game at Cornella-El Prat.
Gerard Moreno’s goal 10 minutes after the break was enough to win it for the Catalan club, although there were strong suspicions the forward was in an offside position.
The Andalusians headed into Monday’s encounter in strong form, with six victories in their last 10 outings, but were frustrated by Quique Sanchez Flores’s well-drilled and tactically-disciplined side.
It was the first time Betis had failed to score since the opening-day defeat at Camp Nou as Gerard’s well-taken finish from a Pablo Piatti delivery was the difference between the sides.
Espanyol now move up to 10th in the standings, while Betis drop to eighth.