Jude Bellingham celebrates after netting Real Madrid's late winner against Union Berlin
Jude Bellingham returned from injury on Sunday and helped Real Madrid reclaim the top spot in La Liga. AFP News

Real Madrid CF have reclaimed the top spot in La Liga after previous leaders Girona FC dropped two points against Athletic Bilbao on Monday night. The two clubs are now level on 35 points after 14 matches, but Los Blancos are on top of the table thanks to superior goal difference.

Girona held to a draw by Athletic Club

The weekend started off with Girona at the top of the table after a phenomenal first half of the season. They have managed eleven wins out of 14 games so far, losing only to Real Madrid. They were last held to a draw by Real Sociedad in August, but the latest draw with Athletic Club is one that truly stings.

After fancying themselves as title contenders for the past few months, the true test for Girona has arrived.

Girona welcomed Athletic Club on Monday night with high hopes of retaining their position at the top of the table. The hosts thought they gained the lead in the 28th minute after Yangel Herrera found the back of the net through a header. However, the goal was ruled offside.

The visitors then dominated the first half, with Oihan Sancet, Oscar de Marcos and Dani Vivian all forcing Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga to make important saves.

After the break, Girona finally made a breakthrough and took the lead through midfielder Viktor Tsygankov. A defensive mistake from Bilbao left him unmarked, and he hit a low strike past Bilbao keeper Unai Simon to give the home side the advantage in the 55th minute.

However, Inaki Williams managed to score an equaliser in the 67th minute from the edge of the box to hold Girona to a disappointing 1-1 draw. Even though they are still level with Real Madrid on points, they would have to settle for second place.

Girona will be facing a string of challenging opponents in the coming weeks, putting their La Liga title chase to the test. They will be facing Valencia this weekend, before travelling to face FC Barcelona a week later.

Real Madrid back on top despite injury concerns

Los Blancos had taken the lead on Sunday evening after a convincing 3-0 win over Cadiz. After Girona were held to a draw, Carlo Ancelotti's side managed to retain the top spot on the table. However, the victory came at a cost, with Luka Modric picking up a thigh strain in the 70th minute.

Nevertheless, the Italian manager was happy to see Brazilian youngster Rodrygo Goes back in his best form after being mostly muted in the first few months of the campaign. He scored two scorching goals in either side of the half, making sure that the club did not feel the absence of the injured Vinicius Junior.

Meanwhile, English star Jude Bellingham scored his 14th goal for Real Madrid after only 15 games, surpassing a record previously held by club legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo di Stefano.

He is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder which forced him to miss international duty with England last week. However, Bellingham proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with in front of the goal even while operating at a reduced capacity.

Now that they are back on top of the table, Real Madrid will want to open up a gap to Girona as well as both Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona, who are both just four points adrift. Atletico also have a game in hand, meaning they are potentially just one point behind.

Real Madrid is dealing with a number of injured players, with some sidelined for several months. Luckily, their bench is so deep such that Ancelotti is now fielding his third-string goalkeeper but is still able to come up with a high quality squad.

The season has not even reached that halfway mark, and it remains to be seen how the Italian will be able to make the most out of his talented bench.