Evening Report: April 17

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Football News

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Robin van Persie will kick on following his weekend goal against Stoke City.

The Dutchman ended a drought of 11 games with his strike at the Britannia Stadium, and Ferguson believes there will be more to come before the end of the season.

Rafael Benitez believes the influence of Juan Mata could be decisive in Chelsea's bid to end the season with silverware and a return to the Champions League.

Benitez says the Spaniard has been 'one of the players of the year', and hopes his good form continues until the end of the campaign.

Manchester City will have to fend off interest from Inter Milan if they hope to sign Isco from Malaga this summer.

Inter are reportedly considering a bid for the the Spanish midfielder, but his £30 million release clause may prove to be a stumbling block.

Kieran Gibbs has attributed Arsenal's recent run of good form to a strong understanding that has developed between the club's players.

The Gunners have lost just once in 11 league games, and Gibbs feels the squad are more settled with each other now than at any point in the season.

Andre Villas-Boas faces a dilemma over Gareth Bale's selection for the weekend's vital Premier League game against Manchester City.

Bale faces a race to be fit because of an ankle injury, and Villas-Boas is considering risking the Welsh winger.

Neymar has lavished praise on Barcelona's Lionel Messi - labelling the Argentine star 'extraordinary'.

The young Brazilian could join Messi at Barcelona this summer, and Neymar says he is in awe of his possible future teammate.

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