Zamalek gave manager Ehab Galal his second win in six games after beating lowly Tanta 2-1 in the Egyptian league at Cairo Stadium on Sunday.
Following a defeat to Masry and a goalless draw with Enppi, Zamalek needed to get back to winning ways – which did happen thanks to two first-half goals from Emad Fathi and Nana Poku.
Tanta managed to reduce the arrears following a late spell of pressure on Zamalek through Tunisian winger Seifeddine Jaziri, who scored just two minutes from the end of the first half.
The game witnessed the introduction of Tunisia right-back Hamdi Nagguez, who was signed a few days ago, with Syria left-back Moayad Ajan playing for the first time under manager Galal.
The Cairo giants climbed to fourth position on 36 points, two adrift of third-placed Masry who meet Maqassa on Monday.
Three first-half goals
Zamalek were in control from the outset, but it was their keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi who was forced into a save after just five minutes when he denied Mohamed El-Ashri's header.
Two minutes later, defender Mahmoud Alaa saw a low effort from inside the area go narrowly wide of the post; with Zamalek increasingly signaling threat on goal.
And indeed the opener just came two minutes later, when Fathi - deployed as a midfielder - superbly met Nagguez's cross from the right to beat the keeper at the near post.
In the 19th minute, striker Poku doubled Zamalek's lead after being curiously given space by the Tanta defense to go through on goal and slide home.
In the latter stages of the half, the visitors started to grow into the game and force Zamalek backwards, with winger Mohamed Gaber narrowly missing the target in the 28th minute.
Tanta were then rewarded for their late pressure when Jaziri latched onto a through ball to go clear between three Zamalek defenders before the Tunisian winger slotted past keeper El-Shennawi to pull one back.
After the break, Zamalek were guilty of squandering easy chances that would have otherwise put the result beyond doubt.
Winger Mohamed Antar missed the target eight minutes before another winger in substitute Mohamed El-Shami was failed to find the net following some good work by Tunisian right-back Nagguez.
Striker Poku also came close in the last minute of stoppage time but was thwarted by the Tanta keeper as Zamalek came up 2-1 winners.