Simeone, sent to the stands three minutes after Vrsaljko's dismissal, was delighted with the defiant display produced by his side, though, as they dug deep and netted late on at the Emirates Stadium through Antoine Griezmann.
Speaking to reporters after the first leg of the Europa League semi-final tie, the 47-year-old told reporters: "Surviving in the Europa League would be the best way to describe [courage]. I remember a game in Barcelona when Filipe [Luis] was sent off after 13 minutes, or another Champions League game when [Fernando] Torres was sent off. The team has done fantastic work for a number of years.
"In a stadium like this, the attacking football Arsenal played, the team had to keep going every minute. That's the most beautiful thing about football. It's really hard to play away at Arsenal - an extraordinary stadium, a spectacular coach in the opposite dugout - with 10 men. These Atletico players, the way they played and put up with the pressure was tremendous.
"The fans brought a positive energy to accompany our passion. You guys have no idea how difficult it is to defend. Football is about playing and playing is the fun part, but you've got to have balls to defend with 10 men for 80 minutes.
"If you play normally you have more possibility [to score], but defending like that shows real character - it's a message for those who come along with us. It's been a difficult year for us. A lot of change, with a fantastic new stadium, our new home. We've got a 50% chance of going through."
Atletico have been victorious in seven of their nine two-legged knockout contests against English opponents.