Premier League

Austin banned for two matches after abusive gesture

The Football Association has handed Charlie Austin a ban that rules him out of Southampton's dates with Leicester City and Derby County.

Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been suspended for two matches after admitting to making a crude gesture during the Premier League loss to Manchester City in December.

The 29-year-old was booed upon being withdrawn in the 68th minute at St Mary's and appeared to direct a two-fingered sign towards the travelling City supporters last month.

The Football Association charged Austin with making "an abusive and/or insulting" gesture and he will now miss Saturday's league trip to Leicester City.

He will also play no part in relegation-threatened Southampton's FA Cup third-round replay against Derby County on January 16.

Austin's absence leaves Ralph Hasenhuttl short on attacking options, with Manolo Gabbiadini on the cusp of completing a move to Serie A side Sampdoria.