The midfielder had also shone for Brazil in midweek.
Pirlo said, "He is the player we expected. He came from La Liga, which has a totally different approach above all to training more than playing. He needed time to settle in, he is a guarantee on the ball and finds the right solution to escape the opposition press," continued the coach.
“There's plenty of quality in this squad, but that is not enough. In order to dominate the game, you have to move the ball rapidly from side to side.
“The players also enjoy that style of football, and when you have possession, pinning the opposition back, you even get to rest on the ball and not run so much.
“We've been trying for this pressing game since the start, but didn't have much time this season to work on it. The key essentially is to win back the ball as quickly as possible so that we keep the pressure constantly on the opposition and maintain possession."