Vinicius Jr put the hosts in front at the Bernabeu with a stunning first-half strike, before Kevin De Bruyne responded in style after the break as he lashes a first-time effort from distance past Thibaut Courtois to level things up and leave the Champions League semi-final tie in the balance after the first leg.
Real were furious with the award of goal, claiming the ball had gone out of play in the build-up, but the officials waved away those appeals and, after Eduardo Camavinga gave possession away with a loose pass, De Bruyne made Real pay.
Ancelotti and Luka Modric led the complaints, with the Real boss shown a yellow card and admitting after the match he was confused by the booking.
“I don’t know why,” Ancelotti told BT Sport. “I told [the referee]: ‘I was not on the pitch, why you give me [the card]?’
“I think he could give the yellow card to the player, not to the manager.”
Real were second-best for much of the first-half as City dominated possession, though ruthlessly took their moment and were then much-improved after the break as they threatened to double their led.
It was then City’s turn though to score against the run of play, but Ancelotti was upbeat with how the tie was poised heading to the Etihad next week.
“The midfield covered well the position in front of the defence. We are satisfied. Some times the result doesn’t give you credit, but the performance was really good.
“We are happy and we have strong motivation for the next game.”