The defender was full of praise for young midfielder Kevin de Bruyne after he scored a late winner against the La Liga side.
City found themselves a goal down to the La Liga side courtesy of a Yehven Konoplyanka goal, but rallied with an own goal and a late winner from Kevin de Bruyne sealing the victory.
They were three big points for the side to make it two wins from three in their Champions League games this season, leaving them with a big chance of qualifying for the last 16.
Zabaleta isn’t thinking that far ahead though, saying the win is a big confidence boost ahead of this weekend’s Manchester derby.
“This was a massive step forward in terms of thinking about the next round and now we have a huge game on Sunday,” the MEN reports him as saying.
“This was a massive win in terms of confidence – derbies are special games and we have a chance to extend the gap between us and United and Arsenal.”
The Argentine defender was also full of praise for young midfielder De Bruyne after he secured the points for them late on.
The Belgian was a big money signing from Wolfsburg in the summer and there is big pressure on his shoulders to prove that it was money worth spending.
He has made flying start to his career at the Etihad though and Zabaleta says he has been a fantastic signing for the side.
“It was a fantastic finish from Kevin de Bruyne and a big three points,” he added.
“He is doing really well. His performance week in, week out is brilliant. He is a player who has really improved the team, a fantastic signing. He keeps his feet on the ground to just keep helping the team – I hope he can keep on like this.”