With Al Ain losing to 1-0 Al Fujairah on Thursday and leaders Al Jazira going down 2-1 against Al Dhafra on Saturday, Shabab's plans to take advantage were dealt an early blow when Papa Waigo opened the scoring.
The league's bottom side have taken just four points all season and, having led at the break, it was business as usual in the second half as Azizbek Haydarov and Edgar Silva turned the game around.
The victory moves Al Shabab three points off the top two.
Mirko Vucinic's second-half penalty was not enough for leaders Al Jazira as they succumbed against Al Dhafra thanks to Mohamed Al Khoori's late winner.
At the bottom, Emirates and Al Sharjah both pulled further clear of danger with important wins.
The former came through 3-2 against Bani Yas - Alexandro's brace proving key to the victory - while the latter put four past high-flying Al Wahda.
Having not scored since January 10, Brazilian striker Wanderley got back on the goal trail in some style as he scored a hat-trick in Al Sharjah's 4-1 win, with Adil Saqor Abdulla sent off for Al Wahda late on.
Elsewhere, Al Wasl and Al Nasr shared the spoils in a four-goal thriller - Ibrahima Traore with a brace for the latter - while Al Ahli's trip to Ajman on Thursday ended goalless.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.