When Quique Sanchez Flores bid farewell to Vicarage Road 12 months ago, he brought out his young son to soak up the affection from the club’s fans as the two parted company like a pair of old friends.

If Mazzarri has children, he would have done well to leave them at home and save the embarrassment of witnessing what didn’t even come close to a sell-out against one of Europe’s finest teams, on paper at least.

Certainly, the Italian did not hang around after the final whistle following a 5-0 demolition by Manchester City, and it was a wise choice.

Mazzarri ended his Watford reign departing straight down the tunnel without a second thought to the club's fans, leaving his sizeable entourage to welcome the players off the pitch after a lamentable display.

The Italian's relationship with those in the stands sank to a new low and even saw him jeered in the second half while referee Jon Moss reprimanded the Italian over his language on the sidelines.

City came into the game needing a point to guarantee Champions League qualification, while Watford sought to restore some pride after a five-game losing streak which had cost Mazzarri his job.

In the end, a late collapse from West Brom could not save Watford from finishing 17th, and the final-day present Mazzarri had asked for from his players would have been better coming with the receipt. Perhaps it was a telling gift.

In fairness, seeing a back four including midfielder Valon Behrami and left-back Jose Holebas at centre-half, plus Brandon Mason’s first Premier League start, presumably left Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus licking their lips when the teams were announced at 2pm.

More notable was the omission of Troy Deeney - apparently with a troublesome hip, you decide - as well as both back-up goalkeepers Costel Pantilimon and Rene Gilmartin making the bench in place of what should have been any available bushy-tailed youngster from the club's academy.

The City duo's appetites were further whetted a minute in when Heurelho Gomes’ greatest fear, the ball at his feet, came close to catching him out. Dispossessed by Aguero, the Argentine crossed for Jesus, but Holebas spared the Hornets’ blushes by chesting the ball clear off the line.

Soon they were into their stride as Watford’s season was summed up in one swift movement. Kevin De Bruyne’s flag kick was met by a totally unmarked Vincent Kompany, who powered a header beyond Gomes from 10 yards. It was the 16th time Watford have conceded from a corner under Mazzarri.

Watford’s players are not playing for their futures, and likely to be given a clean slate by a ninth head coach in five years come pre-season - although at times, they have not appeared especially bothered about pride either.

But they did respond to that early set-back, Stefano Okaka hesitating at the wrong moment when he could have tested Caballero, and M’Baye Niang firing just over after turning inside of Fernandinho.

It would prove elementary. City had the opportunity to waste glorious chances to double their lead, first when the inexperienced Mason was let down by the absence of a linesman’s flag to allow Jesus beyond him, only for Behrami to block his pass to Aguero with a glorious last-ditch challenge.

Mason is a bright talent, but Jesus is on another level. The Watford youngster was left like a rabbit in the headlights as another ball inside him found the Brazilian, and after finding his strike partner it needed a reflex stop from Gomes to keep him at bay.

Aguero is too good to pass up three chances and made the most of some shambolic defending to get on the scoresheet 23 minutes in. A slip from Abdoulaye Doucoure allowed De Bruyne a clear run in midfield and he slipped the diminutive striker beyond a lost Holebas to finish smartly.

Two became three when Daryl Janmaat, largely untroubled for much of the half, lost out in a footrace with Leroy Sane from another ball in behind, and his pass gave Aguero a second from close-range on a plate.

Boos greeted that third goal as even a patient Vicarage Road faithful had seen enough, and many were drowning their sorrows in a half-time pint when Fernandinho added a fourth, profiting from Holebas’ nonsensical decision to play out from the back amid a sea of blue.

The interval could not come soon enough, and perhaps Mazzarri reminded his players of their responsibilities at the break. The second half had barely begun when Okaka ghosted past Fernandinho before ending a fine run with a rocket of a shot which forced Caballero into a one-handed stop.

Niang was the next to nearly embarrass the stand-in right-back when he robbed the Brazilian on the edge of the box, but a heavy touch forced him wide, and his shot, turned round the post, was never likely to give Watford a consolation.

Mazzarri had criticised his players’ lack of winning mentality in the Spanish press in the week, but the Hornets fans let him know just what they thought of his own when Jon Moss went over to warn the Italian following an indiscretion with the fourth official. The chants of ‘off, off, off’ did not come from the visitors.

Aguero would resume City’s dominance when he passed up a chance for his hat-trick from Sane’s cross, but Jesus would instead add their fifth from more comical defending. 

You can forgive a patched-up Watford defence a lot, but not the manner with which Aguero, and then the young starlet, would cut through their backline, Jesus holding off Tom Cleverley’s half-hearted challenge to get himelf on the scoresheet.

Doucoure passed up an opportunity late on to give a visibly emptying Vicarage Road something to cheer about when his shot from four yards lacked the power to beat Nicolas Otamendi on the line.

And while City knocked on the Watford door a couple more times in the final minutes, they were content to settle for a final-day romp to seal third place, while the Hornets were just happy to end what has turned into a miserable end to the season.

Watford (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Janmaat (Eleftheriou 39), Behrami, Holebas, Mason; Doucoure, Cleverley; Amrabat (Deeney 59), Capoue, Niang (Pereira 74); Okaka.

Not used: Pantilimon, Gilmartin, Zuniga, Watson.

Man City (4-1-2–3): Caballero; Fernandinho, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Toure (Sagna 62); De Bruyne, Silva; Jesus, Aguero (Iheanacho 70), Sane (Navas 62).

Not used: Gunn, Stones, Kolarov, Sterling.