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Southampton’s Austin banned after ‘abusive gesture’

Southampton FC v Manchester City - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30: Charlie Austin of Southampton reacts during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester City at St Mary’s Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

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A certain ‘v salute’ has cost Charlie Austin a two-game ban.

The Southampton striker, 29, has been banned by the English Football Association for the ‘abusive gesture’ he made towards Manchester City’s fans on Dec. 30.

Saints lost the game 3-1 and Austin made the gesture towards the travelling Man City supporters as he was subbed off in the 68th minute at St Mary’s.

Austin admitted the charge and will now miss Southampton’s trip to Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and online via NBCSports.com) and their FA Cup third round replay against Derby County next week.

He has scored three goals in 18 appearances in all competitions this season and has been used mainly off the bench since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in early December.

With Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi out injured, Austin’s untimely suspension will hardly go down well with Hasenhuttl who only has Shane Long or Sam Gallagher (who has just returned from injury and has yet to play in the PL this season) as his available strikers to select for this weekend.

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