Ivanovic’s goal against the Black Cats took his tally for the season to seven — beating the six he scored in 2010/11.
And the Serb insists the fortunate nature of the strike did not take the gloss off getting his name on the scoresheet.
He said: “I saw the ball was coming and I tried to react, maybe to control it. In the end the ball finished in the net and I am happy about that.
“It is my best total but I am not looking at that.
“All the goals in this game were strange but for me the three points were important and we have a lot of games until the end of the season. We have to work very hard to finish it well.”