A comprehensive 4-0 defeat of 10-man Newcastle on Monday started the Chilean's reign in emphatic fashion and the Argentina international believes that it could be the start of a special year at the Etihad Stadium.
The 28-year-old argues that the new boss's high-tempo approach suits their squad perfectly, telling the press: "The performance was fantastic, the team spirit was great and this is the way we want to play. If you saw Pellegrini's teams before he came to City, they always played this way.
"They were very aggressive, always trying to kill the ball, get into spaces and, above all, playing to win. He produces aggressive, attacking teams who play with a good tempo and a high intensity. We did that.
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"[Sergio] Aguero and [Edin] Dzeko did well together and they will add a lot of goals.
"As for Navas, it is sometimes hard for new players, especially when they come from another league and you have to adapt to a new country, a new language and a new life but this is a squad where plenty of Spanish is spoken and we will do our best to help him. It did not take me long but then everyone is different."
Shortly before the game on Monday, Zabaleta penned a new four-year contract with the club. "It feels like home here," he enthused of the renewal. "I have been here for five years and am really enjoying it.
"I didn't think twice when the club came to me to discuss my contract. This is the place I want to be and I want more success here. The summer was a hard one.
"At Manchester City the expectation is that you will win trophies and last season was hard and disappointing for everyone but everybody is fresh now, we have had a break and everybody is very focused. We know our target for the season and we will try to fulfil it."