A cheeky Aleksandar Kolarov free kick rolled under the wall proved the difference, as Roma won 1-0 in Bergamo and Atalanta hit the post.
The former Lazio and Manchester City defender made an immediate impact on his return to Serie A, placing a smart set play beneath the jumping legs to surprise Etrit Berisha.
Atalanta laid siege to the Giallorossi in the closing minutes, Josip Ilicic somehow hitting the post from point-blank range and some truly desperate defending in the box.
Roma earn their first victory over the Orobici since November 2014, ending a run of three draws from five meetings, home and away.
Or see how all today’s games unfold on the Liveblog.
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/