City have extended their unbeaten run away from the Etihad Stadium to eight games.
But Zabaleta told City TV: "That is so important for this team, to keep winning games and keep going, and also be a consistent team.
"Sometimes people ask about when we play at home, that we are a different team, but today we showed again that even if you don't play at your best, it's important to win the game.
"We are in good shape now and we need to keep working hard because there is still a long way to go to the end of the league.
"Nobody is dropping points now, everybody is very close, it's very tight at the top of the table. It was fantastic to come back today to the top of the league."
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