Manchester City 2
-Emmanuel Adebayor (40)
-Vincent Kompany (45)
City are an oasis of calm despite the midweek Carling Cup exit at Manchester United and Emmanuel Adebayor returned to start a game for Roberto Mancini for the first time as the Blues looked to edge closer to a top-four place.
Zabaleta was taken away for treatment with blood streaming down his nose after being caught flush in the face by an elbow from Kevin-Prince Boateng and was replaced by Nedum Onuoha for the rest of the match.
After initially asking for two minutes to try to patch Zabaleta up, the City medical staff then informed Mancini the defender would not be able to continue.
Manchester City closed the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham following a win over Portsmouth, whose problems on and off the field continue to mount.The hosts took the lead in the 39th minute when Stephen Ireland's pass found Emmanuel Adebayor, who rifled a 20-yard strike beyond David James.
There was no joyous celebration as Adebayor rattled his 40th-minute effort past David James.
But as City returned for the second half, the former Arsenal star looked quietly but pointedly to the sky in honour of his fallen colleagues.
Having gained no response from referee Martin Atkinson, Kompany effectively wrapped up victory in stoppage time, simply shrugging the Israeli aside as they ran to meet Martin Petrov's corner, before powering home his first goal of the season.
Manhester City: Given, Zabaleta (Onuoha 38'), Toure, Kompany (Boyata 58'), Garrido, De Jong, Ireland, Barry, Petrov (Bellamy 73'), Tevez, Adebayor.
Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Ben-Haim, Wilson, Hreidarsson (Finnan 27'), Mullins (Quincy 85'), Basinas, O'Hara, Webber (Piquionne 77'), Utaka, Boateng.