Podolski struck twice in a laboured 3-1 win over West Ham United as the FA Cup finalists maintained their push for a Champions League place.
Liverpool prepared themselves in the best way possible for a hugely significant week when they beat West Ham United 2-1 on Sunday and returned to the top of the Premier League table.
Gerrard scored two penalties as Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win at West Ham United.
Andy Carroll scored one goal and laid on another as West Ham United piled on the relegation woes for Sunderland with a 2-1 victory.
Olympiakos were too open in the Champions League defeat by United and West Ham United will be more cautious when the teams meet at Upton Park on Saturday.
West Bromwich Albion forward Anelka has been banned for five matches and fined 80,000 pounds for making an alleged anti-Semitic gesture.
Carroll, who has made six appearances this season after being plagued with a foot injury, was sent off in West Ham's 2-0 win over Swansea City on February 1.
Anelka was charged by the English Football Association for performing a gesture considered to be anti-Semitic while he was celebrating a goal.
City completed a resounding demolition of West Ham by winning the second leg of their League Cup semi-final 3-0 and book a place in the final 9-0 on aggregate.
Demel suffered concussion and a damaged shoulder and was unconscious for several minutes before spending the night in hospital in Cardiff.
Alvaro Negredo grabbed a hat-trick as Manchester City crushed West Ham United 6-0 in their League Cup semi-final first leg.
Manchester United and West Ham paid a heavy price for fielding weakened teams in the FA Cup when they were knocked out in the third round.
West Ham United's woes intensified as the Premier League club were thrashed 5-0 in the FA Cup third round by second tier Nottingham Forest.
Walcott scored twice as Arsenal fought back to win 3-1 at West Ham and halt a three-game winless run in the Premier League.
Rooney faces a late fitness test but could be available for United's home match against West Ham United on Saturday.
West Ham United piled more misery on Tottenham with a 2-1 win, while Manchester United beat Stoke City 2-0.
Defender Seamus Coleman and midfielder Gareth Barry were the unlikely goalscorers as Everton scored three late goals to beat Fulham 4-1.
Marouane Chamakh scored the only goal to give struggling Crystal Palace a much-needed 1-0 win over West Ham.
Norwich staged a second-half comeback to beat West Ham 3-1 in the EPL and ease the immediate pressure on manager Chris Hughton.
Sergio Aguero scored twice and set up another goal as Manchester City moved to fourth place in the English Premier League.