'I just feel privileged to be able to enjoy playing for the best team in the world.'-Luis Suarez
Barcelona kept their faint title hopes alive and doomed Espanyol to relegation on Wednesday as Luis Suarez's goal proved the winner in a pivotal Catalan derby at the top and bottom of La Liga.
This 1-0 victory was a far cry from the sparkling 4-1 win over Villarreal on Sunday but it moves Barca to within a point of Real Madrid, who play their game in hand at home to Alaves on Friday.
"We did not play well today," Barca coach Quique Setien said. "Their defensive shape made life very difficult for us as they were very tight and compact and we weren't precise enough to find a way around it," he added.
"We have to win our next three games," said Suarez. "What Madrid do is up to them. If they drop points, fantastic. We just have to be there if they do."
"We knew how difficult this game would be because of Espanyol's situation and we were tired from Sunday's game and we played with less intensity," Suarez said adding that: "But the important thing is that we won the game and picked up more points."
With the superior head-to-head and a kind last four fixtures, Real Madrid remain firm favourites.
"Life or death" read the front page of Mundo Deportivo on Thursday morning - for Barcelona, who had to win to stay in touch with Madrid, and for Espanyol, given they needed a victory to prolong their survival effort.
Griezmann's combination with Suarez and Messi, coming after his sumptuous chip against Villarreal, sustains the Frenchman's momentum but this was more of a gritty win against an Espanyol team that hit the post at 0-0 and had chances.