The capital club struggled for incision at the Stadio Friuli without injured captain Francesco Totti, and while holding Antonio Di Natale at bay they lost full-back Maicon to a red card midway through the second half.
But that setback served only to spur Rudi Garcia's men on and American midfielder Bradley emerged from the bench to book the Giallorossi a slender 1-0 win.
Goals from Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez earned Juventus a comfortable 2-0 victory over Genoa in Turin.
Summer signings Fernando Llorente and Tevez were particularly impressive around the visiting goal but it was Chilean midfielder Vidal who opened the scoring with a penalty.
A superb solo effort from former Manchester City striker Tevez then made the points safe before half-time.
Two first-half Gonzalo Higuain penalties earned Napoli a 2-0 victory over Torino in Sunday's early kick-off.
The Granata players protested against both spot-kicks, the first given for a challenge on Dries Mertens and the second for handball against Kamil Glik, but to no avail and Higuain confidently slotted both home.
The latest of late goals from Marco Parolo settled a 3-2 win and fired Parma into the top half as AC Milan's second-half comeback at the Stadio Ennio Tardini proved in vain.
Parolo and Antonio Cassano cut through a disorganised Milan team to score impressive individual goals in the first half.
But something clicked with the visitors over the break and, shortly after ex-Juve striker Alessandro Matri hit an overdue first goal for his new club, defender Matias Silvestre dragged Milan level with a header.
The winner would not come for the visitors, however, Parolo instead grabbing the glory with a free-kick at the death.
Fiorentina stretched their unbeaten league run to four matches with a 2-1 win at Chievo.
Bostjan Cesar fired the hosts in front at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi but two goals from Juan Cuadrado turned the result around for the Viola.
Bologna managed to win for the first time in Serie A this season as Jose Angel Crespo's early goal settled a 1-0 victory over Livorno.
Elsewhere, Catania and Sassuolo played out a goalless draw in Sicily.
In Sunday's late game, super-sub Miroslav Klose inspired Lazio to a 2-0 victory over Cagliari that eased the growing pressure on coach Vladimir Petkovic.
The capital club approached the match searching for their first win in six games in all competitions, at the end of a week which saw president Claudio Lotito turn up to training unexpectedly to deliver a motivational speech.
Petkovic knew his boss would not visit him again without bringing worse tidings so, after watching Cagliari dominate the first half without scoring, he threw Klose into the fray to spark a revival.
The former Bayern Munich star did not disappoint, heading home the pressure-relieving opener on 52 minutes before Antonio Candreva's penalty gave Lazio a comfortable cushion heading into the last half hour.
The win boosted the Romans into seventh place while a third away defeat of the season left Cagliari in 13th.