Coming into the contest on the back of a disappointing defeat to Almería last time out, the hosts knew a positive response was needed. However, it was Osasuna - having made their best start to a top-flight campaign since 2005/06 - who created the first opportunity, as Abde Ezzalzouli saw an angled strike thwarted by Álvaro Fernández.
Espanyol improved after a cagey opening 20 minutes, and came within inches of taking the lead themselves when Javi Puado directed a close-range header agonisingly against the post. This narrow escape sparked the visitors into life before the interval, and it was Los Rojillos who found the breakthrough, as Ante Budimir lifted a delicate finish over Fernández for his second goal of the season.
In a dramatic end to the first half, a heated confrontation between the two sides saw both reduced to 10 men, as Ronael Pierre-Gabriel and Ezzalzouli were both dismissed for second bookings. The fiery nature of the contest continued into the early stages of the second period, with Espanyol twice coming close to finding an equaliser, but Aitor Fernández was on hand to deny Nico Melamed and Martin Braithwaite.
The pressure from the hosts finally paid dividends on the hour mark, as Braithwaite reacted fastest inside the box to tuck home from a few yards out. With the scoreline delicately poised, both sides went in pursuit of a winner going into the final 15 minutes, however the defensive rearguards held firm to secure a hard-earned share of the spoils. The result lifts Espanyol up to 14th, two points clear of the relegation zone, while Osasuna remain 9th, within touching distance of the European spots.
Flashscore Man of the Match: Aitor Fernández (Osasuna)