Jeff Bruma and Yakubu bagged a couple of goals each as City went out of the Championship play-off race fighting - twice coming from behind to beat Watford at the Walkers Stadium.
Frustrated in the first half by substitute Marvin Sordell, who twice put the Hornets in front either side of Bruma's well-struck equaliser, Sven-Goran Eriksson men came out swinging after the interval and powered their way to a first win in four.
On as a sub for the injured Richie Wellens just before half-time, Yakubu drew them level with an opportunist finish after a mistake from Watford keeper Scott Loach, before Chelsea loanee Bruma, moved to centre-midfield for the afternoon, brought the house down with an absolute doozy from 30 yards.
With Watford still reeling, Yakubu sealed the points by clipping home a fourth 15 minutes from the end - points that ultimately look futile after sixth-placed Nottingham Forest's win at Bristol City.
Forest's victory leaves City six points and an unlikely turnaround in goal-difference away from the division's top six and a subsequent shot at the Premier League through the play-offs.
But their fans will already be looking forward to next season with much anticipation, particularly if they can hang on to the services of players like the day's two-goal heroes.
Bruma, 19, had yet to taste victory as a City starter since arriving on Filbert Way with a big reputation in January, but revelled in a more advanced role that suited his footballing qualities.
Yakubu, meanwhile, gave the most emphatic response possible to being dropped to the substitutes' bench, showing all his class and experience to tuck away two difficult second-half chances.
The Nigerian was left out from the start in favour of Darius Vassell as Eriksson switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Andy King operating just off the lone front-man.
Loach was forced to tip over a well-struck Paul Gallagher free-kick as City mounted pressure early on, but their first mistake yielded a Watford opener just before the half-hour.
Having replaced the injured Andi Weimann shortly before, Sordell showed terrier-like aggression to hustle Kyle Naughton out of possession on the left before cutting inside Miguel Vitor and finding the top corner.
It was a goal that summed up City's recent form - pleasing on the eye but punished for the smallest of errors and Sordell, a threat all afternoon, nearly had a second on 38 minutes but directed his header over from a Danny Graham cross.
For all City's possession they had struggled to stretch Loach, and England Under-21 international, beyond his comfort zone until Bruma threw off the shackles on 41 minutes, stepping away from his marker with Gallagher's pass and releasing a low shot that skidded into the bottom corner.
Quite a way to open your professional account, but much better would follow.
Watford quickly seized the lead back within a couple of minutes as City's defences were breached from the right. Troy Deeney rode a couple of tackles on his way into the box before being crowded out, but Sordell collected before dancing round Vitor and finding the bottom corner via the inside of the post.
Sent out early at the start of the second half, the Foxes were clearly raring to go after the interval and almost drew level within a couple of minutes, but Ben Mee's stabbed shot from a Gallagher corner bounced back off the bar.
The more they pressed, the greater Watford's threat became on the break and most would have expected 27-goal striker Graham to have done better with a free header at the far post on 56 minutes.
Deeney would miss an even better chance soon after, finding only Weale's midriff after peeling off the back of Vitor to go clean through with Piero Mingoia's pass.
They looked like misses the 'Orns would eventually pay for and payment was not far away.
Chasing Vitor's ball over the top more in hope than expectation, Yakubu couldn't believe his luck when Loach, on the very edge of his box, lost control after colliding with Adrian Mariappa. The finish was by no meanssimple one, but the on-loan Everton man could have fooled most as he effortlessly whipped it home.
The Kop were baying for a winner, urging Eriksson's men to find another gear as they sought a flourishing finish. Bruma seized the moment.
Shifting Gallagher's pass out of his feet 30 yards from goal, the young Dutchman unleashed the purest strike he will probably ever hit in what should be a long and prosperous career.
From the moment it left his right foot, it was destined for the top corner, screaming past Loach who would have been best advised to stay still, and nearly uprooting the goal frame.
He cupped his hand to his mouth in celebration, almost in disbelief at what he had just produced. The appreciation poured forth from every corner of the stadium.
It was a goal to dazzle the senses and Watford's clearly hadn't recovered in time to stop Yakubu adding a quick fourth. King raced onto his headed pass only to be denied by a combination of Loach and Mariappa. Yakubu simply chipped the rebound over all of them and into the unguarded net.
And from that blow Watford never looked likely to recover, resigned to their fate as City popped the ball around to see out the final few minutes.
A late introduction for long-term injury absentee Aleksandar Tunchev was the icing on the cake, with the Bulgarian receiving an ovation as big as any of the goals scored before his arrival.
And on this afternoon, that was quite a claim.
City (4-4-1-1): Weale; Naughton, Vitor, Mee, Van Aanholt; Abe, Bruma (Tunchev 90+4), Wellens (Yakubu 45), Gallagher; King (c); Vassell (Dyer 88).
Subs not used: Tunchev, Teixeira, Howard, Berner, Smith.
Goals: Bruma 39, 73; Yakubu 62, 75
Watford (4-3-3): Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor (Bennett 88), Doyley; Eustace (c), Mingoia (Drinkwater 82), Cowie; Deeney, Graham, Weimann (Sordell 17).
Subs not used: Buckley, Gilmartin, Massey, Thompson.
Goals: Sordell 28, 41
Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 21,473 (878 away)