Real Madrid faced a stumbling block as they settled for a 1-1 draw against Real Betis on Saturday, with Aitor Ruibal's impressive strike levelling the score after Jude Bellingham's league-leading 12th goal of the season.
Bellingham put Madrid ahead early in the second half at the Benito Villamarin, showcasing excellent teamwork with Brahim Diaz. However, Ruibal responded with a skillful angled shot from outside the area, securing a point for Betis and extending their unbeaten La Liga run to 11 matches.
Although Madrid edged one point ahead of Girona, they risk losing the top spot on Sunday if the surprise challengers prevail against neighbours Barcelona in a Catalan derby.
Despite an initial disallowed goal for offside, Madrid appeared to take the lead when Diaz scored from close range after an impressive exchange between Bellingham and Rodrygo. Betis had their chances, with Ayoze Perez's attempt saved and Willian Jose bending an effort narrowly wide.
Bellingham eventually broke the deadlock, receiving the ball in Betis territory, combining with Diaz, and skillfully scoring past Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva.
Ruibal, however, had different plans, seizing the opportunity to score from 20 metres and securing Betis a valuable point. The match saw both teams pushing for a winner, with former Madrid player Isco nearly causing trouble with a header against the post.
In stoppage time, Joselu's effort went wide, and Lunin made a crucial save against Chadi Riad's header, concluding the game with shared points.