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Southampton’s Austin banned after ‘abusive gesture’

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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.

Hasenhuttl praises ‘uncompromising’ Saints; Ings, Austin hail win

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To say that fiery Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was happy to snag his first Premier League win was an understatement.

And perhaps Hasenhuttl was understated himself in celebrating Saints’ first goal of Sunday’s 3-2 win over Arsenal, but he made up for it on the other two markers and after the final whistle saw Southampton move out of the drop zone.

[ RECAP: Southampton 3-2 Arsenal ]

“It’s amazing what the team can do in a week,” Hasenhuttl said. “It was very intensive, we had time to work on the basics and built the fundamentals for our game. I’m very proud of how focused and uncompromising they were, and when they had the chances, how merciless they were.”

Match-winner Charlie Austin, whose winning goal came with just minutes to play, gives his new boss credit for the victory.

“It’s great,” Austin said. “The gaffer’s brought in new ideas and it’s not just changed things in the changing room but around the whole club.”

“A new manager comes in. The lads get a rocket and start expressing themselves.”

Striker Danny Ings scored twice in the win before Austin nabbed the winner. For Ings, it was his first brace since Nov. 2014 when he was with Burnley.

The hometown hero, once released from the club as a youth, is maintaining a steady gait in the face of a rare win.

“We knew those crosses would be dangerous, we’ve been working on them all week, and I was there to put them away.”

“As a club we know the position we’ve put ourselves, and with the squad we’ve got it’s not good enough,” Ings said. “But if we keep showing resilience and hard work we can turn it round. It shows we’re moving in the right direction already.”

Saints go to Huddersfield Town next in a crucial clash near the bottom of the table, and a visit from in-form West Ham follows the relegation six-pointer.

 

Saints snap Arsenal unbeaten run at 22

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  • Austin scores late winner
  • Ings nets two headers
  • Mkhitaryan twice equalizes

Charlie Austin‘s late goal joined Danny Ings‘ brace as Southampton topped Arsenal 3-2 on Sunday at St. Mary’s to give Ralph Hasenhuttl his first win as Saints boss.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s two equalizers were not enough for Arsenal, who remains fifth with 43 points.

Saints move 17th with 12 points, pushing Burnley back into the Bottom Three.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal attacked first with Matteo Guendouzi setting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on goal, but Saints keeper Alex McCarthy cut down the distance considerably to block the shot.

Nathan Redmond won a corner for Saints in the 14th minute, but it led to nothing for the South Coast side. And Stuart Armstrong curled a shot that Bernd Leno fell to catch four minutes later.

Saints went ahead through Ings, nodding home a Matt Targett cross with authority for the first goal under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Mkhitaryan made it 1-1 when Nacho Monreal sent a cross to the penalty spot for a headed goal.

But Redmond’s cross put Ings in for a with a header that was either lucky, clever, or equal parts both. The brace was his first in the Premier League since Nov. 22, 2014, when he scored twice for Burnley against Stoke City.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Mkhitaryan had another answer for Arsenal, though, thanks to a shot that took a significant turn off of Jannik Vestegaard to leave McCarthy answerless. It was 2-2 with 37 minutes to play at St. Mary’s.

Arsenal had the better of the chances and the proverbial rub of the green when Saints did challenge, as Shane Long was viewed offside when Maya Yoshida scored late.

Mesut Ozil was well saved by McCarthy, and Aubameyang had a promising opportunity blocked as Saints worked hard for their point.

Would they get three? Yes! Austin was alone to nod home when Leno couldn’t reach Long’s cross.

Kane stars as Spurs outclass Saints

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  • Goal, assist for Kane
  • Son, Lucas score
  • Saints’ Hasenhuttl watches from stands

Harry Kane led Tottenham Hotspur’s rebound from derby disappointment, and new Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl got a close-up view at the project in front of him as Spurs battered Saints 3-1 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Charlie Austin scored in stoppage time for Saints, who hit the woodwork thrice in the match.

Tottenham rises third with 33 points, while Saints are 18th with nine.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs came out of the gates with a vengeance, and Kane had the Londoners ahead in the ninth minute when he converted a Christian Eriksen cross off a corner.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg hit the post for Saints, and Alex McCarthy tipped a Heung-Min Son shot over the bar as both teams could’ve added to the score board.

Spurs got their second goal when Lucas was in the right place to lash his rebound home, and Son made it 3-0 off a Kane cross with more than a half-hour to play.

Oliver Skipp, 18, made his Premier League debut for Spurs in the final minutes of the match.

Mohamed Elyounoussi hit the post in stoppage time moments before Austin scored to get a deserved goal in front of their new boss.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Controversy runs through Southampton draw with Watford

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  • Gabbiadini puts hosts ahead
  • Watford denied PK shout
  • Saints have Austin goal ruled out
  • Holebas ties it

Jose Holebas’ deflected 82nd minute strike salvaged a point for Watford against Southampton on Saturday.

Manolo Gabbiadini had given Saints a first half lead, and both teams were denied goals before Holebas’ marker.

The point gained gives Watford 20, and 7th place. Southampton is 17th with 8 points.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Saints took a lead from a surprising source, well, as surprising as a striker goal can be for a viewer.

Gabbiadini took advantage of a Roberto Pereyra miscue and hammered a shot home for 1-0.

Striker Danny Ings left the match with an injury in the 40th minute, replaced by Charlie Austin.

Watford’s second half began well, and the Hornets believed they’d won a penalty when Nathaniel Chalobah was taken down by Nathan Redmond. No call came, however, and it was a fortunate let-off for Saints.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Maya Yoshida had a hard shot deflected out for a Saints corner, their fifth of the game, in the 63rd minute.

Austin looked to have made good on Southampton’s threats in the 66th, but it was pulled back while Saints were deep in celebration.

Watford found its equalizer when a ball fell to Holebas outside the 18, and his shot took a wicked turn to beat Alex McCarthy.

Gabbiadini curled a ball into the hands of Ben Foster moments later.