A first-half brace from Carlos Vilanueva handed Al Shabab a 2-0 home success over fourth-placed Al Sharjah, who lost for the first time in 11 league matches.
That result allowed Al Shabab to close the gap on the leaders, who were held 0-0 at in-form Al Wahda, now unbeaten in eight.
A point further back in third are Al Jazira, who won 2-1 at Al Wasl.
Shin Hyung-Min and Ali Ahmed Mabkhout scored for the visitors in the 57th and 63rd minutes and although Andre Senghor pulled one back six minutes later it was not enough for Al Wasl to avoid a third straight league defeat.
Al Shaab climbed off the bottom with a 2-0 home win over 10-man Al Nasr, Badr Al Noubi and Michael N'Dri scoring the goals as Tariq Ahmed saw red for the visitors.
Strugglers Dubai and Emirates finished 1-1, Jehad Al Hussain giving Dubai the lead before Jair equalised for the visitors midway through the second half.
Elsewhere, the games between Al Dhafra and Bani Yas, and Ajman and Al Ain finished goalless.
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