Brendan Rodgers' side lost 2-0 at home on Sunday and with City winning by the same scoreline at Crystal Palace later in the day, they remain firmly in the hunt to reclaim the crown they won in 2011/12.
A 3-2 home win on the final day of that season saw them finish ahead of rivals Manchester United on goal difference and this year's race could also go down to the wire.
Manuel Pellegrini's side now trail leaders Liverpool by three points and second-placed Chelsea by one, but crucially they have a game in hand on both and boast a superior goal-difference.
"We know that we've been in this situation two years ago and I think we had been talking about that last week," said Zabaleta.
"The most important thing we've learned from that experience was the team spirit to keep fighting until the end.
"Whoever ends as the champions, it is because they will deserve it, and we are one of those teams who will fight for it."
Yaya Toure made the first goal for Edin Dzeko and scored the other at Selhurst Park and Zabaleta believes the return from injury of the midfielder could spur them on in their final three games against Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham.
"You always need big players in the team. I think Yaya showed one more time that he's one of the main players of this team," he added.
"He's having a great season; one assist, another goal, fantastic for the team and great to see Yaya back.
"We have three games still to play, everything is in our hands again. We know that we must win those games if we want to win the title again.
"But it's going to be very difficult, the next game is Everton away and that's always been very tough for us.
"They are playing for the fourth place, so nothing is going to be easy."
Watch Everton v Manchester City on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 3D on Saturday. Coverage begins at 5pm.