Zabaleta says defenders are now baffled by the laws on tackling.
He said: "Yes, the rules are there to protect attacking players. But for defenders we run the risk of being sent off with every tackle. It is difficult to understand what we have to do, but in the end it is up to the referees to decide.
"My impression at the time was that he went in hard but not with any malicious intent.
"It wasn't a red card, for me.
"Yes, we know that if you go in with two feet then it is a risk of being red, but I don't know if Kompany did.
"Just because a tackle is two footed does not mean it is necessarily dangerous. He went with two feet because twisting his body could have hurt his knee.
"The referee saw that it was with two feet, but for me it was not a red card."