Atleti, who sit four points shy of the top two, were left to rue Kevin Gameiro’s inability to turn a promising close-range chance into a two-goal advantage in the second half.
The result compounded the Rojiblancos’ frustration from their midweek draw with third-tier Elche in the Copa del Rey, but Simeone believes his team will soon return to their clinical best.
“If we keep on this path things will improve for sure. I always prefer to see the positive side,” Simeone said at his post-match news conference.
“This was the best of our recent games, for performance and intensity. At 1-0 we had chances to kill off game, like for Gameiro.”
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) October 28, 2017
In addition to earning a point, 31-year-old Bacca’s late header extended Javier Calleja’s unbeaten start as Villarreal manager to four LaLiga matches.
The 39-year-old former midfielder has collected 10 league points from a possible 12 since replacing the sacked Fran Escriba in September.
“It was a fair result. We had a chance [to go ahead through Cedric] Bakambu at 0-0,” Calleja said of his side’s performance.
“After [the first] goal, when Atletico dropped back, we had our best spell.”