Sensing City's driving force had lost it and was in danger of inviting a second yellow card, Joe Hart dashed in to march Toure away from the melee.
Zabaleta conceded that Hart had saved the day.
"There was a bad challenge (by Ward-Prowse)," said City's right back.
"The players wanted to keep him (Toure) away because sometimes you can get angry. That's when it's important to have team-mates who can tell him to calm down.
"There was a danger he could have got a second yellow. It would have been a huge loss if we had to be without him for a game like Liverpool."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball