Athletic Bilbao suffered their 15th defeat of the season in their second-worst season in La Liga history, only finishing the campaign in 16th place courtesy of a one-goal head to head advantage with Leganes.
David Lopez’s ninth-minute header proved decisive as the central defender pulled away from Xabier Etxeita to find yards of space in the box and convert from Pablo Piatti’s corner.
That wasn’t the only chance for the Catalans as Leo Baptistao, Oscar Melendo and La Liga’s most used player in 2017/18, Gerard Moreno, all had chances as Athletic were run ragged.
Stats showed that Espanyol left the Basque side for dead in terms of distance covered in a showing which typified Athletic’s feeble campaign.
Ziganda’s departure has already been confirmed with Eduardo Berizzo the clear favourite to replace him at San Mamés. If the former Celta Vigo and Sevilla boss was watching on this Sunday, he will be well aware of the mountain of a task that awaits him to restore one of La Liga’s biggest clubs to the top half of the table.
Athletic Bilbao: Kepa Arrizabalaga; Unai Nunez, Yeray, Xabier Etxeita (Iñigo Cordoba, 62); Oscar de Marcos, Beñat, Mikel Vesga (Ander Iturraspe, 58), Iñigo Lekue; Iker Muniain, Aritz Aduriz, Iñaki Williams (Sabin Merino, 72).
RCD Espanyol: Diego Lopez; Javi Lopez, David Lopez, Naldo, Dídac Villa (Aaron Martin, 56); Leo Baptistao (Sergi Darder, 84), Víctor Sánchez, Marc Roca, Pablo Piatti (Oscar Melendo, 65), Sergio Garcia, Gerard Moreno.