Alvaro Morata proved the matchwinner on the day.
"I feel good when I see passion and today the team had passion," said Simeone.
"We can play well or poorly, but there's a path.
"We're close to doing things well."
Some of that passion boiled over into whistles from the fans in the stands, but the coach wasn't too worried about that.
"People are spontaneous," he said.
"We have to try to turn those whistles into applause."
He added: "Anxiety's normal, the team grew in confidence. We saw some good things tonight although we have to improve when we are in or close to the opponents' box. It's not easy for any team because all of our rivals defend well."