Diego Simeone was left ruing Atletico Madrid’s lack of creativity but could not fault his side’s effort as they drew 1-1 with Villarreal at El Madrigal.
Atletit failed to capitalise after taking the lead early on courtesy of a Mario own goal as Uche equalised for the hosts late on.
And the Argentine boss admitted that his side came off second best for large periods of the game.
“We came up against a team that plays very well and is in a good place,” Simeone told reporters.
“In defence we did very well. They had no clear chances but they did control possession.
“In the second half we were better but it is an important result against a side also vying for a Champions League spot.”
Atletico currently sit second in La Liga after making their best ever start to a campaign, but they dropped valuable points against El Submarino Amarillo and looked far from their best, a point that the coach accepted.
“We took a lot out and struggled to find our rhythm and space, while Villarreal kept a hold of the ball very well," he continued.
“We were stuck in our own half and we couldn’t turn defence into attack as we had done in the past.
“We lacked creativity in attack because Villarreal played very well.”