Carlo Ancelotti reveals why he brought Jude Bellingham off in Real Madrid’s draw with Bayern Munich

Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham was replaced by Luka Modric in the 75th minute (Picture: Getty)

Carlo Ancelotti says he was forced to bring Jude Bellingham off in the second half of Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich as the England midfielder was struggling with cramp.

Vinicius Junior scored a late penalty to complete his brace and set up what promises to be an intriguing Champions League semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu in a week’s time.

The Brazilian had earlier broken the deadlock against the run of play with a cool finish past Manuel Neuer before Tuesday’s hosts Bayern fought back in a spirited second-half performance.

Leroy Sane beat Andriy Lunin with a devastating finish to level and Harry Kane looked to have won it with a 57th-minute penalty for Bayern, before Vinicius Junior spoiled the party with a spot-kick of his own at the Allianz Arena.

Eyebrows were raised as Bellingham – Madrid’s top scorer this season – was taken off with 15 minutes remaining in Munich, with Luka Modric coming on in his place while the visitors sought an equaliser.

Toni Kroos – who assisted Vinicius Junior’s opener with an exquisite through ball – was also replaced and Ancelotti explained the reason for the double substitution in his post-match interview with TNT Sports.

‘Bellingham was tired, he had cramps and I changed and put only more energy because Kroos played a fantastic game,’ the Real Madrid manager said.

‘It was just to put more energy in midfield.’

Vinicius Junior scored from the spot to complete his brace and make it 2-2 in Munich (Picture: Getty)

Ancelotti feels there is room for improvement from his team ahead of the second leg, claiming his side struggled with the low block and ‘could have played better’ against Thomas Tuchel’s men.

‘It was an interesting game, an open game of course. It has to be in a semi-final,’ the Italian added.

‘I think that we could have played better, I think we didn’t play our best version and we had problems in the first half with a low block, too deep.

‘In the second half when we started to put pressure to equalise the game it was much better.’

Ancelotti expects an ‘exciting’ second leg at the Bernabeu (Picture: Getty)

Ancelotti added: ‘I think we were comfortable with a low block but we didn’t put intensity there.

‘When you have a low block, you have to have intensity, you have to win duels, you have to win second balls and we were too low.

‘We tried to change something in the second half and in the second half we started really well but conceded two goals, when our moment was good.’

Ancelotti is anticipating an ‘exciting’ second leg, with a final against either Borussia Dortmund or Paris Saint-Germain awaiting the winner.

‘It will be exciting. I think it will be open, you never know what will happen,’ he continued.

‘But it will be as exciting as it was tonight.’

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