23 Dec Charlie Austin scores but may face action after challenge on Huddersfield keeper
Charlie Austin could face a suspension after his challenge on Jonas Lossl left the Danish goalkeeper with a blood-soaked face as Southampton drew 1-1 with Huddersfield at St Mary’s.
Austin fired Saints into the lead but later avoided sanction despite catching Huddersfield keeper Lossl in the nose in a bad-tempered south coast affair.
The striker could face retrospective punishment from the Football Association for his actions, with a three-match ban a possibility, while Lossl managed to play on undeterred after lengthy treatment.
Austin’s fifth strike in five starts was cancelled out by Laurent Depoitre’s third goal in as many games, however, as the Terriers fought back for a share of the spoils.
Saints frontman Austin later hobbled off with a leg issue as injury cut short his mixed afternoon.
The draw left Southampton with just one win in 10 Premier League encounters, maintaining pressure on manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
The Saints boss will also be forced to field further enquiries about defender Virgil van Dijk, omitted entirely from the match squad and still a January transfer target for Liverpool and Manchester City.
Huddersfield defender Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen had pledged to buy every travelling Terriers fan a pint for making the south coast trip.
And the 1,581 hardy Huddersfield souls on hand at St Mary’s would have headed north satisfied with a hard-fought point, and an expectant thirst.
Austin relished the chance to wind up the Huddersfield fans after handing Saints the lead, rushing towards the visiting supporters and cupping his ear in jest.
He then poured fuel on that fire when leaving his foot in, whether intentionally or not, on visiting goalkeeper Lossl when chasing Jack Stephens’ through-ball.
Lossl wound up with blood pouring from a cut across his nose, and Austin, to the surprise of many, avoided any censure from referee Lee Probert.
Austin’s goal was well worked, the finisher nodding in at the far post after Wesley Hoedt smartly flicked on a corner.
But his subsequent celebration and then the flash point with Lossl doubtless soured his first-half’s work.
The former QPR striker ought to have doubled his tally in the second half’s first meaningful exchange but blazed wide when clean through.
Nathan Redmond stood up Jorgensen and raced on before flicking to the unmarked Austin, who fired his shot just the wrong side of the post.
Huddersfield quickly made Saints pay for that profligacy, as Depoitre headed home Tommy Smith’s pinpoint cross to level the tie.
Lossl managed to beat away a fierce Austin drive, but the striker wound up crumpled in a heap and hobbled off with a suspected leg problem.
Maya Yoshida hit the post with a late header, but Saints came up short in another underwhelming showing.