Leaders Barcelona are now 11 points clear of Atleti with seven games remaining, but Simeone said: "I always want to finish first - if not first, then second, if not second, third".
The home side were aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty after Toni Kroos went down under Juanfran's clumsy challenge two minutes later, and the Germany global let his frustration show when he was booked for a needless foul on Griezmann.
It was a piece of play you could watch on loop without getting bored.
The opening goal arrived after nine uneventful second-half minutes from a familiar source.
The Madrid derby between Real and Atletico wasn't quite the cracker we were hoping for but it did feature the sexiest touch of the season from Marcelo.
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Also in the dock was a representative of Thales, a French defence company accused of paying bribes to Zuma in the arms deal. After the hearing, Mr Zuma addressed the crowds who had come to stand alongside him at the court in his home province.
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Bale was the creator as he raced down the left before crossing for Ronaldo to fire past Oblak.
Griezmann equalised for the visitors four minutes later after poking the ball into the net from inside the box, 1-1.
Griezmann released Saul to curl beyond the far post in the 70th minute but the Spain midfielder might have crossed to the well-placed Costa, who was substituted in favour of defensive midfielder Gabi soon afterwards.
But it was skipper Sergio Ramos who nearly won it at the death when his free-kick looked to be heading into the top corner until Oblak got a hand to it.