Juve needed Dejan Kulusevski came off the bench to net Juve's equaliser.
“Our first half wasn't aggressive enough, we waited for them, and yet we created the best chances," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“We reacted well after they took the lead, but we shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up and play with intensity.
“When you play against Verona or Atalanta, it's difficult because they take you one-on-one all over the field and create many duels. We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It's tough against them, we could've done better.
“Arthur did very well controlling the ball and lasted the full 90 minutes, but he too can improve, as everyone can.
“We knew this would be more difficult than in Kiev, as Verona have this intensity. We worked in training on the press and dealing with one against one situations.
“We shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up, we ought to start with intensity and continue from there."
He added: “Kulusevski was rested because he had played seven in a row and was the only real option we had off the bench. We didn't expect Dybala to stay out there for 90 minutes, but we worked hard and put himself about."