Match highlights: Watch Sheffield United narrowly edged out by Norwich City as Chris Wilder sees red
With attacking options severely hampered by injury - Billy Sharp, Clayton Donaldson, Leon Clarke and Caolan Lavery were all missing - United struggled to create too many opportunities but they weren't helped by the labourious nature of the Canaries' tactics.
It was that which caused Blades boss Chris Wilder to be sent to the stands after encroaching in City's technical area in a bid to retrieve the ball.
Wilder admitted: "There were some time-wasting issues that are ridiculous. Referees have to do something about it. It breaks the flow of the game up when you're in the ascendancy.
"I went in their technical area, that was the problem Bit of a frustration, having five centre forwards out.
"I thought my team were outstanding for a new team in the division. I thought we deserved something from the game."
Yanic Wildschut scored the only goal of the game and Canaries' boss Daniel Farke said: "It feels like a big win, 100 per cent. Our defending attitude, our will to fight against setbacks. Our will to be in such an atmosphere, a really emotional atmosphere and to stand together."