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No laughing matter for Benitez as Fulham holds Newcastle

December 22, 2018
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Newcastle United's Javier Manquillo, left, and Fulham's Joe Bryan battle for the ball, during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Fulham, at St James' Park, in Newcastle, England, Saturday Dec. 22, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)
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Newcastle United's Javier Manquillo, left, and Fulham's Joe Bryan battle for the ball, during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Fulham, at St James' Park, in Newcastle, England, Saturday Dec. 22, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Comedy fan Rafael Benitez had little to smile about after his Newcastle side was held by bottom club Fulham to a drab 0-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Newcastle did not have a single shot on target at St James’ Park, leaving Benitez, who said ahead of the game that he loved English comedies, stony-faced on the touchline.

Fulham counterpart Claudio Ranieri was a lot happier after watching his team keep a clean sheet in the league for the first time this season.

Home substitute Kenedy had an appeal for a penalty waved away after going down under Joe Bryan’s challenge, while former Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic made a similar claim at the other end of the field when Jamaal Lascelles appeared to handle the ball in the area with seconds remaining.

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Newcastle United's Javier Manquillo, left, and Fulham's Joe Bryan battle for the ball, during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Fulham, at St James' Park, in Newcastle, England, Saturday Dec. 22, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)